Putin proposes Russia, Japan sign historic peace treaty

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Observers say that his visit is part of a fresh round of New Delhi's engagement with Moscow, which will culminate in October when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host Mr. Putin for the India-Russia annual summit.

"Japan and Russian Federation - both President Putin and myself - share the same position and determination to solve our territorial disputes", he said.

"The Putin-Xi meeting in Vladivostok was "...of far-reaching significance as it cemented mutual trust and friendship and promoted win-win regional cooperation", said Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, according to Xinhua.

Abe praised his meeting with Xi, saying they held "highly significant talks regarding Japan-China relations and the various issues that we face together".

Both are opposed to U.S. missile defense systems deployed close to their borders, which they see as tools that offset the Chinese and Russian nuclear deterrents.

Shinzo Abe also said the living generation has the responsibility to "completely remove the post-war scenery" from the region. "Let's conclude a peace treaty before the end of this year, without any preconditions".

The dispute between Russian Federation and Japan centers on the four southernmost islands in the Kuril chain which the Soviet Union occupied at the end of World War II in 1945 but are claimed by Japan.

Japan and the Soviet Union signed a joint declaration aimed at ending wartime hostilities and restoring diplomatic ties in 1956.

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Over the years, negotiations to reach a peace agreement have seen both friendly gestures and hardline statements.

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".

"It is not a joke", Putin added, suggesting the two countries commit to solving the territorial dispute in the text of the peace deal.

Russian and Japanese Foreign Ministry officials said that work on a future agreement would continue as usual, and a Japanese official made clear that Tokyo wants an agreement on possession of the islands before it will sign a peace treaty.

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.

"We've been trying to solve the territorial dispute for 70 years".

Yoshihide Suga, Japan's chief cabinet secretary and top government spokesman, told a regular press briefing this week: "Our position that the Northern Territories issue is resolved before any peace treaty remains unchanged".

Abe added that they had agreed a "road map" to realise the economic projects on the islands.

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