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Abe Tells UN General Assembly Japan, Russia Must Resolve Territorial Issue

© AP Photo / Shizuo KambayashiJapanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe - Sputnik International
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly said that Japan and Russia must resolve their territorial dispute and achieve a peace treaty.

"We must resolve the territorial issue that remains between our two nations and achieve a peace treaty," Abe said on Tuesday.

The Japanese prime minister said his most recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok was the 22nd one held as national leaders and that they planned to meet again soon.

A group of disputed islands, Uotsuri island (top), Minamikojima (bottom) and Kitakojima, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China is seen in the East China Sea (File) - Sputnik International
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Earlier this month, Putin proposed that a peace treaty between two countries without any preconditions be signed before the end of the year. However, Tokyo later said that it would continue to insist that the treaty could only be concluded after the settlement of the Kuril Islands territorial dispute.

The fact that Japan and Russia have never signed a permanent peace treaty after the end of World War II has long been a stumbling block in Russia-Japan relations. The main issue standing in the way of a treaty is an agreement concerning a group of four islands that both countries claim — Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai, collectively referred to as the Southern Kurils by Russia and the Northern Territories by Japan.

Tokyo and Moscow have been engaged in consultations on carrying out joint economic activities on the disputed islands.

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