Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke of a laborious job that has yet to come: there has been no rapprochement in the talks on a peace treaty between Russia and Japan in the Kremlin. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe saw a task not easy to solve.
The main problem is the Curili islands. They had been occupied in 1945 by the then Soviet Union at the end of the Second World War, the demands of Japan. Therefore, even after almost 75 years there is no peace treaty between Moscow and Tokyo. The Kuril Islands link the Russian peninsula of Kamchatka with the Japanese island of Hokkaido in the Pacific.
Before the meeting, several demonstrators were arrested in front of the Japanese embassy in Moscow. The protest was directed against possible repatriation plans for the Kuril Islands in Japan. Several people, including a Communist deputy, have been arrested, the Tass agency reported.
Putin and Abe agreed last year to intensify talks on a peace treaty. "We reiterated our interest in signing this document," said the head of the Kremlin, according to Russian media. The base is a Japanese-Soviet agreement of 1956, which provides for a possible return of two of the four islands. A week ago, talks at the level of foreign ministers had not yet led to a rapprochement.