Russia for compromise over island dispute with Japan

November 1st, 2008 - 7:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Nov 1 (RIA Novosti) Russia Saturday said it favours a compromise with Japan on the territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands.Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is scheduled to visit Japan early November to discuss the signing of a peace treaty to formally end World War II hostilities, delayed due to the ongoing dispute over the South Kurils, a former Japanese territory annexed by the erstwhile Soviet Union after the war.

The four southernmost islands of the Kuril chain, which stretches from Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula to the north-east coast of Japan’s Hokkaido Island, remain under Russian control.

“We have the desire to solve this problem. A compromise is needed for the resolution of various issues,” Japan’s Kyodo news agency quoted Lavrov as saying.

“It is important for our nations not to get stuck in problems of the past, but to turn their attention to the potential of the future cooperation, and to form public opinion in a spirit of good-neighbourliness,” Lavrov said.

During his visit, which includes stops in Hokkaido and Tokyo, Lavrov will meet his Japanese counterpart Hirofumi Nakasone to discuss the territorial dispute.

The foreign ministers will also consider the possibility of holding a high-level meeting between the Japanese and Russian leaders in November at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Peru.

The plans by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to pay a visit to Japan later this year as part of agreements reached at the summit meeting of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialised countries will be also on the agenda of the forthcoming talks.

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