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Japan, Russia highly unlikely to conclude peace treaty in near future

All papers reported on Saturday on a Japan-Russia foreign ministerial meeting held in Tokyo on Friday, saying that Foreign Minister Kono and his counterpart Lavrov agreed to arrange a summit between Prime Minister Abe and President Putin in Osaka on June 29 on the margins of the G20 conference. However, the papers expressed the view that Japan’s goal of sealing a basic accord on a bilateral peace treaty during the summit has now become even more elusive since the two top diplomats reportedly remained sharply at odds over the Northern Territories. Kono reportedly dismissed Lavrov’s call for Tokyo to acknowledge Moscow’s sovereignty over the four contested islands. They also reportedly failed to make any meaningful progress on the proposed joint economic activities in the disputed territories.


Noting that Japan had long insisted on the simultaneous return of all four disputed isles, Asahi wrote that Abe’s diplomatic “gambit” on winning the reversion of the smaller islands in a bid to achieve a breakthrough in the decades-long territorial row has apparently fallen through. The daily projected that the Japanese side is now hoping to make progress on the joint economic activities in the Abe-Putin session in Osaka.

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