The Russian authorities have reiterated Thursday their willingness to dialogue with the Japanese government in the framework of the dispute between the two countries over the Kuril archipelago.
“We are interested in talking with Japan, in maintaining a developing structure of dialogue, which has been established for years,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who stressed that Moscow’s idea is to return to the issue as soon as the epidemic situation allows, according to information from the TASS news agency.
In this regard, Peskov recalled that the parties have held several talks over the past four years. “In this dialogue we hope that all issues concerning bilateral relations will also be addressed,” he said.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced earlier Thursday that Tokyo plans to go ahead with the agreements reached between the parties regarding the joint declaration signed in 1956. In this regard, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said that Japan remains committed to the talks on the Kuril Islands.
The Kuril archipelago, known to Russia as the Northern Territories in Japan, consists of a group of islands–Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai inhabited by only a handful of Japanese citizens and occupied by Soviet troops in World War II.
Japan has delayed the signing of a peace agreement with Russia for decades in the hope of regaining sovereignty over these islands. Tokyo is hiding behind the Bilateral Trade and Boundary Treaty it signed with Moscow on February 7, 1855, while the Kremlin relies on international treaties signed at the end of World War II.