Tokyo: Japan will continue to adhere to the course of resolving the territorial problem with Russia and concluding a peace treaty, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday.
“Relations with Russia are in a difficult state, but we will continue to pursue the course of resolving the territorial problem and concluding a peace treaty,” Kishida said at the 212th extraordinary session of the parliament.
A major territorial dispute over a chain of Pacific islands has marred the relations between Russia and Japan for decades and prevented them from signing a permanent peace treaty after World War 2. Moscow considers its sovereignty over the islands of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan, and Habomai — or the Kuril Islands — an indisputable result of World War 2, while Tokyo continues to refer to them as its “Northern Territories.”
Russia and Japan have tried to negotiate separate aspects of their disagreements, but have never signed a full postwar peace treaty. In March 2022, Russia withdrew from talks with Japan and suspended joint economic activities on the disputed islands after Tokyo sided with the Western sanctions campaign against Moscow over its special military operation in Ukraine.