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Russia Says Peace-Treaty Talks With Japan Planned

A Japanese ship lies abandoned on Russia's Iturup Island, one of four in the Kuril chain that are disputed. (file photo)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says a first round of consultations on a peace treaty between Russia and Japan is planned in Tokyo in several weeks.

Lavrov, speaking at a news conference in Moscow on January 21, said a first step toward a peace treaty would be "the recognition of the outcome of World War II, which is stated in the UN Charter."

Japan and Russia never signed a peace treaty because of a dispute over four southern Kuril Islands.

The islands became Soviet territories at the end of the World War II.

Tokyo has been demanding their return.

Peace talks have been held on and off for decades.

Lavrov also said President Vladimir Putin has accepted an invitation to visit Japan, but a date for the visit has not been set yet.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax