Russia and Japan may conclude peace treaty in March

The foreign ministers of Russia and Japan have signed a joint statement today devoted to the issue of the struggle with international terrorism. In light of the tragic events of September 11 in America, Igor Ivanov and Yoriko Kawaguchi promised to take as much effort as possible in order to prevent any similiar, future acts of terrorism. All twelve anti-terrorist conventions must come into effect first, in particular the international convention for the prevention of the funding of terrorism. Furthermore, Russia and Japan set forward an initiative to pass the universal convention for the struggle with terrorism and called upon the UN to assist in raising and restoring Afghanistan.

At the same time, the subjects that directly concern the geo-strategic interests of Russia and Japan (the problem of the Kurile Islands or a bilateral peace treaty) were not discussed at the session of the foreign ministers. Earlier, Yoriko Kawaguchi was in charge of the ministry for environment; she has been recently appointed for the position of Japan’s Foreign Minister after Makiko Tanako’s sudden dismissal.

As it became known, a stage of the Russian-Japanese negotiations (on the level of the deputies of the foreign ministers) is expected to take place this March, in Moscow. The bilateral peace treaty, and the territorial issue in the Far East will become the key points of the coming negotiations. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov stated that they would take all previous bilateral agreements into consideration, including the Soviet-Japanese joint declaration of 1956, the results of the latest Russian-Japanese summit in the city of Irkutsk, and the meetings between the leaders of the two countries in Shanghai in 2001.

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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