Russian and Japanese foreign and defense ministers are holding talks in Moscow on July 31, in order to prepare a unsettled territorial problem that has been in place between both countries for 70 years.

Two ministerial meetings have already been held this year. We hope for serious progress in talks on the basis of trust relations between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

Since mid-20th century, Russia and Japan have been negotiating a peace treaty after World War II. The main stumbling block to this is the issue of the ownership of the southern Kuril Islands.

After the end of World War II, all Kuril Islands were incorporated into the Soviet Union. However, Japan challenged the ownership of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan islands and a number of uninhibited islands of the Lesser Kuril Ridge called the Habomai Islands in Japan.

In 1956, the Soviet Union and Japan signed a joint declaration on ceasing the state of war. The two countries resumed diplomatic and other relations, however no peace treaty has been signed until now.

The Soviet Union committed to paper in the declaration its readiness to hand over Shikotan and Habomai to Japan as a gesture of good will after the peace treaty is ultimately signed.

The Russian foreign ministry has repeatedly said stressed that Russia’s ownership of these islands is fixed in international legal documents and cannot be doubted.

TASS / ABC Flash Point Peace News 2018.

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