Japan, Russia meet on disputed territories

Tokyo, Jan 31 (IANS) Japan and Russia Friday held talks here to discuss territorial issues, economic cooperation, as well as the meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on the sidelibes of the Winter Olympics.

The talks between Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama and his Russian counterpart Igor Morgulov covered the disputed territories that have prevented the two countries from reaching a peace treaty since the end of World War II in 1945, reported Xinhua.
Japan and Russia are at odds over a group of islands near Japan’s Hokkaido. The islets are known as the southern Kurils in Russia and the northern territories in Japan.
“We would like to have candid consultation on important issues such as the settlement of the issue of the northern territories and conclusion of a peace treaty,” Sugiyama said during the meeting.
Morgulov said Russia intended to discuss history of the territorial issues.
The two officials will also discuss bilateral economic cooperation and cultural exchange during the meet.
Abe will attend the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics Feb 7 before meeting Putin, who said he would visit Japan this year.