The Japanese government’s position on a peace treaty with Russia and sovereignty over the Southern Kuril Islands remains unchanged, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters in Tokyo on Tuesday commenting on the talks between the Russian and Japanese foreign ministers in Moscow, TASS reported.
"The legal position of our government remains unchanged," Suga said commenting on whether Tokyo still considers the Southern Kuril Islands as "indigenous Japanese territories." "At the meeting in Moscow the sides particularly outlined their stances and a serious exchange of views was held. However, we agreed with the Russian side not to disclose the talks’ content."
Earlier, a spokesman for the Japanese Foreign Ministry told TASS that the Japanese government believes that Moscow and Tokyo intend to hold serious negotiations on a peace treaty and bring this issue to a close. The talks in the Russian capital made it possible to prepare the upcoming visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Moscow and a new bilateral summit due on January 22, the diplomat said.
At the meeting in Singapore on November 14, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to intensify Russian-Japanese talks on concluding a peace treaty based on the Joint Declaration signed on October 19, 1956. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed on Monday that Moscow was not going to discuss its sovereignty over the Southern Kuril Islands.