Original title: Putin: want to solve the Kuril Islands territorial dispute quickly? Japan is too naive!
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that the territorial dispute between Russia and Japan over the Kuril Islands is unlikely to be resolved quickly. The statement poured cold water on the Japanese officials who had been optimistic about the matter.
After meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Vladivostok Economic Forum in Russia's Far East, Putin said: "The territorial dispute has been under discussion for decades, and it would be naive to think that it can be settled quickly now."
Putin added: "We are ready to find a solution that is beneficial to Russia and Japan and acceptable to both peoples." And Putin is confident that relations between the two countries will usher in a "new impetus" after the talks.
Putin said progress has been made in establishing cooperation and economic ties between Russia and Japan on the four southernmost islands of the Thousand Islands. The four islands, which Russia calls the South Thousand Islands and Japan calls the Four Northern Islands, were transferred to the former Soviet Union after World War II, but Japan claims to be its territory. And the two countries have never signed a peace agreement on this territorial dispute.
In recent years, Putin and Abe have met frequently, and the two sides have carried out many economic cooperation projects on the four islands, such as fish and shellfish farming, wind power generation and tourism. Last year, the two sides reached a consensus that the Japanese Aboriginal people would take the charter flights to worship the family cemetery in the area.
"I will continue to discuss with Russian President Vladimir Putin to resolve the territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands," Abe said at a news conference after the summit, Kyodo News Agency reported. Abe added that they had agreed to develop a "road map" for economic cooperation projects on the islands.
Kotaro Nogami, Japan's Deputy cabinet chief, said that although Russia had claimed that it would no longer conduct military exercises on disputed islands, Abe told Putin that Japan would "closely monitor Russia's actions." And Andouble said the two sides have confirmed that Putin will pay a formal visit to Japan next year.
Editor in chief: Yu Pengfei
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