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Abe to propose regular talks with Putin to settle territorial dispute

Nikkei wrote that during his meeting with President Putin today, Prime Minister Abe plans to propose the idea of holding regular talks with the Russian leader to seek progress in discussions on a peace treaty and the Northern Territories. Abe and Putin plan to mainly discuss the Northern Territories today in Yamaguchi and economic cooperation in Tokyo on Friday. However, there are major differences between Tokyo and Moscow over the territorial dispute because Abe is calling for resolving the issue of sovereignty over all four disputed islands before concluding a peace treaty, while Putin is calling for abiding by the 1956 Japan-Soviet Joint Declaration, which stipulates the return of only Shikotan and Habomai. Abe plans to propose regular talks with Putin based on the judgment that more time will be needed to settle the territorial dispute and pave the way for a peace treaty even if some progress is made during today’s meeting.

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