Lavrov Says Russia, Japan Still Have Significant Differences Over Peace Treaty Subject
Sumaira FH 6 days ago Mon 14th January 2019 | 06:01 PM
Moscow and Tokyo still have some major disagreements over the subject of the negotiated peace treaty but the two sides have reaffirmed commitment to work based on the 1956 declaration, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday, following the first round of peace talks with his Japanese counterpart, Kono Taro
"We still have significant disagreements [over the subject of the peace treaty]. Initially, [our] stances [on the issue] were diametrically opposed ... But the political will of our leaders to fully normalize relations between Russia and Japan prompts us to intensify this dialogue," Lavrov said.
"Which means, first of all, the inalterability of the very first step Japan's recognition of the World War II outcome in full, including Russia's sovereignty over all the islands of the South Kuril ridge," the minister added.
Russia and Japan have not signed a permanent peace treaty after the end of World War II. The dispute over the Kuril Islands referred to as the Southern Kurils by Russia and the Northern Territories by Japan has been one of the main stumbling rocks in the peace talks.
In 1956, Moscow and Tokyo signed a Joint Declaration that provided for the restoration of bilateral relations after the war and stipulated that Japan and the Soviet Union would continue to make efforts toward signing a permanent peace treaty and toward settling the island dispute. The Soviet Union also pledged to consider handing over Habomai and Shikotan to Japan.