Putin proposes Russia, Japan peace deal


Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted China's Xi Jinping in Vladivostok - as well as the Japanese and South Korean leaders - at the three-day Eastern Economic Forum.

The disputed islands, known as the Southern Kurils in Russian Federation and the Northern Territories in Japan, were seized by the Soviet Union in 1945 in the closing stages of World War II.

A total of 175 deals worth 2.9 trillion rubles (US$42.07 billion) were inked during the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok, according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev.

Two country's militaries will be cooperating for the first time.

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs told TASS on Wednesday that the Japanese government plans to conduct negotiations with Russian Federation to sign the peace treaty after solving the territorial issues, and this position remains unchanged.

Indeed, with the United Kingdom and South Korea in attendance, Japanese support could be crucial to a multilateral investment plan in Eastern Russian manufacturing and energy, for which President Putin is aiming.

Abe, who said on Monday that talks with Putin were moving toward a peace treaty, did not give a response.

"Our stance on that score has remained unchanged", the source noted.

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Abe also said after a meeting with Putin in Vladivostok that the head of Japan's Self-Defence Forces would visit Russian Federation in October.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is coming, so is Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov later clarified that the Japanese leader is yet to give an official reply to Putin's idea.

Abe reiterated his desire to meet Kim himself to resolve the matter of Japanese citizens kidnapped by Pyongyang's agents decades ago, but said nothing had been decided yet.

Some diplomats and analysts have taken Putin's proposal with a grain of salt. A former Russian deputy foreign minister, Georgy Kunadze, said he doubted Putin wanted to solve the territorial problem in earnest. "Putin does not expect anything", Kunadze told the Echo of Moscow radio station.

Abe said that Putin and he have outlined a roadmap for joint projects on the disputed islands.

The "nine bridges'" include cooperation in shipbuilding, arctic shipping, seaports, energy and natural gas, as well as railways, jobs, agriculture and fishing.