Abe, Putin Agree To Continue Talks On Peace Treaty

Abe, Putin agree to continue talks on peace treaty

The leaders of Japan and Russia say they will continue to enhance economic cooperation and work towards a peace treaty.

The countries never signed one after World War Two because of a territorial dispute over four Russian-controlled islands.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Vladimir Putin spoke to reporters after the meeting in Moscow.

Putin said the two countries need to develop bilateral relations in a comprehensive manner to find a solution that people from both nations can accept.

Abe said they reaffirmed their commitment to finding a solution that is acceptable for both sides.

In November last year, they agreed to speed up treaty negotiations based on a 1956 joint declaration.

It states that after a treaty is concluded, two of the four islands would be handed over to Japan.

Russia controls the islands. Japan claims them. The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan's territory. It says the islands were illegally occupied after World War Two.