Russia says Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed with Japan's prime minister to draw up proposals this year to end a row over disputed islands.
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.
"Particularly regarding a peace treaty, the two of us alone had quite an in-depth discussion,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on September 2 after meeting Putin in the Far Eastern city of Vladivostok. "It is now clearer how to proceed in talks based on the 'new approach.'”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Putin and Abe agreed that officials on both sides would keep working on a draft deal that the two leaders would consider when the Russian president visits Japan in December.