Moscow And Tokyo to Continue Talks on Peace Treaty Between Russia And Japan

Russia and Japan have confirmed their intention to continue talks in order to find concrete solutions concerning a peace treaty between the two countries, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Alexander Losyukov, told journalists on Wednesday.

None of the parties "intends to leave the talks on signing a peace treaty," the Russian diplomat said.

"Some disagreements still remain, but whichever direction we choose, we should look into the present and the future, as this is the only way to find the right variant. This variant implies a comprehensive development of relations between Japan and Russia," he disclosed following the Russo-Japanese consultations on bilateral and international issues in Tokyo.

The Japanese party at the consultations was represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Hitoshi Tanaka.

When touching upon the territorial demarcation, Losyukov confirmed that Russia believed the Joint declaration of 1956 should be used to settle the issue.

This document registered the two parties' readiness to continue talks on a peace treaty, as well as the former USSR's consent to return two islands, Habomai and Shikotan, to Japan as soon as the treaty was concluded.

"The difference lies in interpreting of the declaration," Losyukov explained. Japan on its part is trying to determine the future of all four South Kurils islands, he said.

The consultations in Tokyo also touched upon the project of constructing an oil pipeline in East Siberia that would supply oil to China and via the Far East to Japan. The decision on its route has not yet been made, Losyukov confirmed.

"If we had enough resources to build two pipelines, we would do that. However, as we are short of resources we will have to make a choice, and it will be made proceeding from purely economic reasons. There is no politics in this matter," the Russian diplomat said.

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