Tokyo will continue negotiations with Moscow to settle the territorial dispute and conclude a peace treaty, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said on Friday as Russian nationals backed amendments to the country's constitution, including a prohibition on alienation of Russian territories
TOKYO (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 03rd July, 2020) Tokyo will continue negotiations with Moscow to settle the territorial dispute and conclude a peace treaty, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said on Friday as Russian nationals backed amendments to the country's constitution, including a prohibition on alienation of Russian territories.
During a press conference, the minister was asked to comment on the results of the vote on the constitutional amendments in Russia, as well as on the monument with the text of the amendment regarding the ban on alienation of territories, which was installed in by the Russian authorities in the city of Yuzhno-Kurilsk, located one of the islands in the center of the territorial dispute between Moscow and Tokyo.
"We would like to continue to tenaciously pursuit the negotiations, based on that basic policy resolve the territorial issue and [sign] a peace treaty," Motegi said at a press conference, adding that Tokyo was aware of the latest developments.
The relations between Russia and Japan have long been complicated by the fact that the two countries have never signed a permanent peace treaty following World War II. The main issue holding the two countries back is their dispute over a group of four Kuril islands Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan, and Habomai.
Since the beginning of his tenure as Japan's foreign minister in September, Motegi has been trying to increase the number of contacts with Russia. Among the main items on his agenda are negotiations with Moscow regarding the territorial dispute around the Southern Kuril Islands and signing a peace treaty.
In November 2018, Abe and Putin agreed to accelerate peace treaty talks on the basis of a Soviet-era joint declaration. The document signed in 1956, among other things, stipulates that the Soviet Union would transfer the two disputed islands Habomai and Shikotan to Japan following the conclusion of the peace treaty. The year that followed the two leaders' agreement to use the declaration as basis for peace negotiations saw series of frequent meetings both between Putin and Abe and the nations' foreign ministers.