Japan, Russia seek to resolve territorial disputes

May 12th, 2009 - 8:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, May 12 (RIA Novosti) Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Moscow and Tokyo could resolve their existing territorial dispute by building mutual trust and developing strong economic ties.
Putin, who arrived in Tokyo Monday, said he was in Japan to discuss a long-standing territorial dispute, along with economic, energy and international issues with the Japanese leadership.

“With this attitude in mind, our mutual work will allow us to resolve a number of global issues, including the signing of a peace treaty (between Russia and Japan),” Putin told a Russian-Japanese business forum here.

Russia and Japan have yet to sign a formal World War II peace treaty due to their territorial dispute over the four South Kuril Islands, former Japanese territory annexed by the Soviet Union after the war.

The Russian prime minister said both countries were interested in developing strong economic ties, primarily in the energy sector.

“Cooperation in the energy sector, which plays a key role in steady supplies of fuel-carriers to the Asia-Pacific region and strengthening the global energy security, remains our priority,” Putin said.

Japan is one of Russia’s major trading partners in Asia, ranking third in terms of bilateral trade. Last year trade turnover between the two countries totalled almost $29 billion.

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