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Kremlin: Putin To Visit Japan In December

The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Japan in December as Moscow and Tokyo strive to ease tensions over disputed islands.

"The time and date have already been agreed to, but we will announce them with the approval of the Japanese side," Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov said on August 30.

Ushakov said Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will discuss the agenda of the visit when they meet on September 2 on the sidelines of an economic forum in the Far Eastern Russian city of Vladivostok.

Tokyo-Moscow relations have been hampered for decades by a dispute over the Kurile Islands, which Soviet troops seized at the end of the World War II.

Lingering tensions over the islands have prevented Japan and Russia from ever signing a peace treaty to formally end the war, hindering trade and investment ties.

Putin last visited Japan in 2005. Abe made a visit to Russia in May.

Based on reporting by AFP and TASS

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