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Putin, Abe agree on ‘framework’ to finalize WWII peace treaty

Putin, Abe agree on ‘framework’ to finalize WWII peace treaty
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have agreed to set up a framework to intensify peace treaty negotiations that were stalled decades ago, after Japan aligned militarily with the US.

“We talked about the need to set up additional mechanisms for interaction, about the need to increase the level of confidence on both sides, to expand our humanitarian contacts and our economic ties,” Putin said in Argentina, following talks with the Japanese leader there.

During their brief exchange on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Putin and Abe agreed that the Prime Minister would visit Russia next year, in the hope of finalizing an accord that has been stalled for decades.

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Moscow and Tokyo ended their World War II engagement without a formal peace treaty. The main stumbling block to striking an agreement has been Tokyo’s long-standing claims to four Russian Kuril Islands, referred to in Japan as the ‘Northern Territories.’ Moscow maintains that the islands are inseparable from Russia, and the Russian borders are recognized by the UN.

Over the last few years, under Abe's leadership, the countries have been working extensively to put an end to the long-standing feud. During a Putin-Abe exchange in Vladivostok in September, the Russian President offered the Japanese leader to work out a peace treaty without preconditions. Yet Tokyo continues to insist that the territorial dispute must be resolved first.

Also on rt.com Islands dispute must be settled before peace deal – Japan on Putin’s ‘no preconditions’ offer

In a meeting in Singapore last month, Abe and Putin agreed to accelerate negotiations based on the Soviet-Japanese Joint Declaration of 1956, in which the Soviet Union offered to hand over the Habomai and the Shikotan Islands to Tokyo, should Japan remain a neutral country after a peace treaty was sealed. However, in 1960, Tokyo instead chose to enter a mutual cooperation and security treaty with the United States, stalling any resolution of the issue with the USSR –and now with Russia– for decades.

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