Winiding up talks held in Moscow Monday, President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed their foreign ministers to intensify diplomacy towards a formal postwar peace treaty,
which is being held up by disputes over who owns the four islands of the South Kurils group. They agreed it is not normal to remain technically at war 68 years after the end of their countries’ last military conflict, Voice of Russia report.
The two leaders also agreed to start bilateral minister-level consultations on defence and security matters and advance Russian-Japanese cooperation in the economy.
The South Kurils became Russian under the international agreements signed at the end of WWII. Russia has no plans to return them to Japan.