Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said that the government insists on a final solution to the issue of the southern Kuril Islands.
The Prime Minister stressed in his opening speech at the opening session of parliament: “The issue of the Northern Territories (as the South Kurils are called in Japan) should not be handed over to future generations <...> it is necessary to put a final end to it,” he said.
He said he would continue the policy towards Russia that his predecessor Shinzo Abe pursued. According to him, the Japanese government expects the whole range of Japanese-Russian relations to develop, including the conclusion of a peace treaty.
For many years Russia and Japan have not been able to conclude a peace treaty after World War II. The main problem is the ownership of the Kuril Islands. Tokyo refers to the Treaty of Shimoda on Trade and Borders, which was concluded between the Russian Empire and Japan in February 1855. According to the document, Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan, and the Habomai group of islands were ceded to Japan from the Kuril Islands, while the rest were recognized as Russian possessions.