Saturday morning’s Asahi reported from Moscow that Russian President Putin said during a press conference on Friday that he plans to discuss the Northern Territories issue during peace treaty talks with Japan. The paper said while senior Russian government officials have been making remarks against holding territorial talks with Japan, the Russian leader chose to demonstrate flexibility. President Putin reportedly said: “We would like to hold dialogue with all our partners, including Japan. That includes the issue of concluding a peace treaty, and the territorial issue will be discussed within that context.”
Saturday evening’s Mainichi reported that Putin also stated that he will “not sell a single island to Japan” and that he will handle the issue of Northern Territories separately from measures to strengthen bilateral economic ties. According to a report by Interfax, Deputy Foreign Minister Morgulov announced on Friday that a vice foreign minister-level meeting between the two nations on a peace treaty is expected to be held in late June in Tokyo.