Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have agreed to increase efforts to resolve a territorial dispute over North Pacific islands that has prevented the two countries from signing a treaty formally ending World War ll.
A joint declaration issued after the two leaders met in Moscow on April 29 says that the two leaders agreed that it was “abnormal” for the countries not to have signed a peace treaty nearly 68 years after World War II military actions ended.
Russia calls the four disputed islands the Southern Kuril Islands, while Japan calls them the Northern Territories.
The meeting on April 29 was the first between Russian and Japanese leaders in a decade.
Putin and Abe also discussed economic ties, including possible Japanese participation in energy projects and infrastructure construction in Russia's Far East.
Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and Interfax