Russian Federation seeking peace treaty with Japan without preconditions

Kenny Grant
September 13, 2018

In his remarks on September 12, Putin said concluding a pact would create a better atmosphere and enable Russian Federation and Japan to "continue to resolve all outstanding issues like friends".

Fresh from his pancake diplomacy date with China's President Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin served up the main dish on Wednesday - a possible breakthrough in Russian-Japanese relations.

Xi thanked the Russian staff at the center for helping Chinese children recuperate and encouraged the young people of the two countries to serve as the pillars of their countries and envoys of bilateral friendship and carry forward China-Russia friendship from generation to generation.

"There are deep and complex changes underway in the worldwide situation, the politics of force, unilateral approaches and protectionism are rearing their head", Xi told the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) on Wednesday. The Kuril Islands issue remains the sticking point since after WWII the islands were handed over to the Soviet Union while Japan has laid claims to the four southern islands.

On Monday, Japan's Prime Minister Abe said he was ready to provide financial aid to Pyongyang on condition that it resolves the issues of its nuclear and missile tests and abducted Japanese nationals.

"After that, I very much wish to invite President Xi to Japan", said Abe, speaking after meeting China's leader Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the forum.

"It seems to me that this would facilitate the solution of all problems, which we have not been able to solve over the past 70 years". "Okay", Putin said, before proposing they sign a peace treaty.

Japan said that before any peace deal with Russian Federation is signed, the south Kuril Islands dispute must first be settled.

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"Both countries are trying to signal: If the United States pushes too far, we are going to move closer to each other", Alexander Gabuev, chairman of the Russian Federation in the Asia-Pacific Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center think tank, told the Washington Post.

"This is called trolling".

A Japanese government spokesman said the country's stance had not changed.

He suggested Abe would never accept a deal that would be political suicide.

Abe and Xi have met numerous times over the last few years on the sidelines of global events.

In Moscow, deputy foreign minister Igor Morgulov told Russian news agencies that Putin's announcement would not require any changes to the current format of negotiations.

Lying near the Japanese island of Hokkaido, the territory was taken over by Red Army troops in the final days of World War II.

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