Japanese Foreign Ministry Declines To Comment On Kono's Possible Visit To Russia
The Japanese Foreign Ministry declined to comment to Sputnik on the possibility of Foreign Minister Taro Kono's visit to Russia, adding that the schedule of diplomatic contacts between the two countries was still being adjusted
"The schedule of diplomatic contacts between Japan and Russia is currently being adjusted, and we would like to refrain from comments," the ministry's spokesperson said, when asked to comment on the media reports.
The Russian-Japanese relations have long been complicated by the fact that the two nations never signed a permanent peace treaty after the end of World War II.
The deal was never reached because of a disagreement over a group of four islands Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai that are claimed by both countries. They are collectively referred to as the Southern Kurils by Russia and the Northern Territories by Japan.
Since Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Japan in December 2016, the relations between the two nations have been improving, with the two sides agreeing to develop joint projects on the disputed islands.
In January, Russia and Japan engaged in full-scale talks aimed at eventually signing a permanent peace treaty. Lavrov and Kono held two rounds of negotiations on signing long-pending peace treaty in January and February.