Economy

Putin proposes Russia, Japan sign historic peace treaty

Putin proposes Russia, Japan sign historic peace treaty

In an attempt to break an impasse, the Abe administration has proposed bilateral economic cooperation in Russia's Far East region and joint economic activities on the Russian-held, Japanese-claimed islands as a means to pave the way for settling the decades-long territorial dispute and eventually signing a peace treaty.

Putin made the proposal during a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, in response to a question from a coordinator after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered a speech.

"Let's conclude a peace agreement, not now but by year's end without any preconditions", Putin said, referring to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who along with Chinese President Xi Jinping participated in the conference.

"I don't want to comment on what President Putin said", Suga said at a regular briefing in Tokyo.

Since the mid-20th century, Russian Federation and Japan have been holding consultations in order to clinch a peace treaty as a follow-up to World War II.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, speaking to reporters, described Putin's proposal as an impromptu idea and said the two leaders had not yet discussed it.

It has kept the two countries from signing a peace accord that would formally end their wartime hostilities.

More news: High-definition video from space shows the extreme power of Hurricane Florence

Russian Federation and Japan did not sign a formal peace treaty after the end of WWII in 1945, and the absence of an agreement has strained relations ever since.

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".

Still, a former Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Georgy Kunadze, felt this could be political posturing from Putin. "Putin does not expect anything", Kunadze told the Echo of Moscow radio station.

On Tuesday, Russia-China Investment Fund (RCIF) - a joint undertaking of the state-owned China Investment Corporation and Russian sovereign wealth fund - announced that a group of of Russian and Chinese businesses are considering 73 joint investment projects, with a cumulative value of more than $100 billion.

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

Relations between China and Japan soured in 2012 over a territorial dispute over several tiny islands in the East China Sea.


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