The stances of Japan and Russia on the problem of concluding a peace treaty “differ considerably,” but the two sides “should seek to make them closer,” Japanese Ambassador to Russia Issei Nomura said.
“The peculiarity of the Japanese-Russian relations is that we have one political question remaining unsolved for many years,” the diplomat noted. “It is the question of concluding a peace treaty by way of solving the issue of ownership of the Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai islands,” he said.
“The stance of the Japanese side considerably differs from Russia’s stance, Nomura stressed. “However, Tokyo and Moscow should continuously exert efforts with a view to building bridges between these stances,” he added.
In the view of the diplomat, “In the course of comprehensive development of bilateral relations in various spheres, including politics, economy and culture, it will be possible to achieve the problem solution.” According to him, “One cannot hope for a settlement in the conditions of stand-off.”
“The issue related to the territories cannot be settled at once,” the Japanese ambassador admitted. “However, I’m certain that by joint efforts of the two countries we will be able to solve this problem,” he said. Nomura expressed the hope that “at the forthcoming summit meeting the two countries’ leaders will frankly discuss it.”
Speaking about the negotiating process on the peace treaty the diplomat recalled that “at the January meeting the Japanese and Russian foreign ministers agreed to hold serious talks with a view to building bridges for bringing closer together the two sides’ stances and overcoming the existing differences.”
According to Nomura expressed the hope that the Russian-Japanese summit due in Tokyo in the second half of November “will be fruitful and open possibilities for a sweeping improvement in the two countries’ relations.”
According to Itar-Tass, the diplomat, this year the two countries marked the 150th anniversary of the establishment of interstate relations. “I am very glad that in this memorable year the leaders of the two powers, Japan and Russia, will have an opportunity to discuss the issues of the future of our relations with a prospect for the next 150 years,” the ambassador said.
In addition, Nomura went on to say, “The leaders will discuss many other matters, including security in the Asia-Pacific region, North Korea’s nuclear problem, economic development of the region, fight against terrorism, environmental problems and cooperation in the sphere of coping with natural disasters on the global scale.”