LAST_UPDATETue, 24 Apr 2018 4pm

Tokyo, Moscow To Continue Close Work On Peace Treaty - Japan’s Foreign Minister

Fumio Kishida. Photo: AlchetronFumio Kishida. Photo: Alchetron

TOKYO -- Japan and Russia are ready to continue their close work on a peace treaty, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday, Russia's TASS news agency reported.

Japan’s top diplomat made this statement at a press conference after a Russian-Japanese 2+2 meeting of the defence and foreign ministers from both countries.

"Considering the resolve displayed by the leaders of both countries late last year, we confirm that we will continue the close negotiating process on the issue of concluding a peace treaty," the Japanese foreign minister said.

Russia and Japan have been negotiating since the middle of the 20th century a peace treaty after World War II.

According to TASS the main obstacle is the problem of the south Kuril Islands. The archipelago became the territory of the USSR after the war. Japan, however, disputes the Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai status.

In 1956, Russia and Japan inked a declaration, which put an end to the state of war between the countries and restored diplomatic and other relations.

But the issue of the border near the Kuril Islands remained unsettled then.

At the same time, the Soviet Union expressed a goodwill gesture in the declaration to give Shikotan and Habomai to Japan after a peace treaty was signed.