Japanese FM arrives in Moscow for peace treaty talks

Japanese FM arrives in Moscow for peace treaty talks

MOSCOW (Rahnuma): Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono on Saturday started his five-day visit to Russia, during which he will hold consultations on a peace treaty with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

“The minister has arrived in Moscow,” Tass news agency cited a diplomatic source from Japan’s embassy in Moscow as saying, without providing further details about the visit.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the two top diplomats will hold talks on Monday. The meeting is mainly dedicated to consultations on the peace treaty, but the ministers will also discuss other aspects of bilateral relations.

Russia and Japan have not signed a post-World War II peace treaty due to their rival claims to four Pacific islands, called the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan.

The four islands used to belong to Japan, which were seized by the Soviet Union after the war and were incorporated in Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Tokyo maintains that Moscow illegally occupied the islands.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to visit Russia around Jan. 21 and hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Russian media.

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