Japan will try to conclude a peace treaty with Russia by resolving the territorial issue. This was announced today, September 16, at a press conference in Tokyo by Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.
“We agreed to intensify negotiations on the basis of the Joint Declaration of 1956. I met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov several times, and I can say that understanding of each other’s positions has deepened. Under the new government, we also intend to follow our basic course for signing a peace treaty after the territorial issue is resolved,” he said.
The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also pointed out that the coronavirus had a negative impact on the negotiations between Tokyo and Moscow because instead of face-to-face meetings the consultations are held online.
It should be noted that Môtegi has retained his position in the government of the new Prime Minister Yoshihide Sugi, whose appointment became known today.
As EADaily reported, 71-year-old Yoshihide Suga took over the leadership of the ruling party and the country from Shinzo Abe, who unexpectedly announced his resignation due to health reasons. He had been leading the Japanese government since 2012.
Consultations on a peace treaty as a result of World War II in Moscow and Tokyo have been intermittent since the middle of the last century. The main obstacle to its conclusion was the issue of the southern part of Kuril. In 1945, the entire archipelago was included in the Soviet Union, but the Japanese side disputes the belonging of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan, and a group of currently uninhabited islands, which in Japan is called Habomai. The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly emphasized that Russian sovereignty over these islands, which has the appropriate international legal framework, is beyond doubt. As Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in May 2019, the consideration of the issue of boundary delimitation is possible only after the signing of a peace agreement.