TOKYO, August 19 (RIA Novosti) – High-ranking Russian and Japanese diplomats are set to meet in Moscow on Monday, Japanese media reported.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov and his Japanese counterpart Shinsuke Sugiyama plan to discuss bilateral and international cooperation, including a peace treaty and economic collaboration.
Russian-Japanese relations have been overshadowed by a long-running territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands in the north Pacific. The four disputed islands – Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai – were occupied by Soviet forces at the end of World War II and are still claimed by Japan. The two states never signed a permanent peace treaty following the end of World War II because of the row.
The Japanese government wants to accelerate talks on the territorial issue through a series of meetings, Japan’s national public broadcasting organization (NHK) reported Sunday.
The diplomats are also expected to touch upon interaction in the defense and oil and gas spheres, joint development of East Siberia, as well as other issues.
History of the Kuril Islands Dispute
During their meeting in Moscow in late April, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to resume negotiations on a peace treaty.
The two countries are also expected to address the issue during Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to Japan in the fall.