Russia's Putin says his Japan peace treaty proposal was no joke

Mikhail Metzel  TASS

The disputed islands, known as the Southern Kurils in Russian Federation and the Northern Territories in Japan, were seized by the Soviet Union in 1945 in the closing stages of World War II.

Both Abe and Putin say they want a solution to the dispute.

Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed Wednesday that Russia and Japan sign a peace treaty by the end of the year without preconditions. In 1956, Japan and the Soviet Union agreed to end "the state of war" and restore diplomatic relations.

Putin's offer to settle the Kuril Islands dispute came just two days after he said that the territorial conflict was unlikely to be resolved soon.

"There are deep and complex changes underway in the global situation, the politics of force, unilateral approaches and protectionism are rearing their head", Xi told the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) on Wednesday. When asked if he was concerned about a potential military alliance between Russian Federation and China in the future, U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said he did not see the two countries aligned in the long-term."I think that nations act out of their interest".

Earlier, Putin said security in the region was a key issue and that Russian Federation was concerned by a move to establish a USA missile defence system there.

The Japanese prime minister for his part said the two countries "have a duty to future generations". "We are both fully aware that it will not be easy".

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"The Putin-Xi meeting in Vladivostok was "...of far-reaching significance as it cemented mutual trust and friendship and promoted win-win regional cooperation", said Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, according to Xinhua. Putin said that Russian-South Korean trade rose 27% last year and 8% in the first half of this year, according to Yonhap news agency.

"This is called trolling".

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

Indeed, Russian government officials later indicated the envisaged peace treaty could specify that the two sides would continue to discuss unresolved issues such as the territorial matter.

Investors in the new entity include Russia's sovereign wealth fund, which is acquiring a 13% stake in the JV.

"This stance hasn't changed", he added.

In Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference that the Russian leader did not make any such proposal during the bilateral meeting with Abe.

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