Russia, Japan to discuss regular maritime traffic between Hokkaido, South Kurils
The issue will be discussed by countries' deputy foreign ministers in Moscow, Sputnik reported citing the Mainichi newspaper.
The proposal to introduce the regular maritime traffic was made by Russia and supported by a delegation of Japanese business people and officials, who visited the Kuril islands in late June - early July to study the opportunities for developing joint projects with Russia.
Moscow and Tokyo never signed a permanent peace treaty after the World War II due to a disagreement over the group of islands, which Russia calls the Southern Kurils and Japan the Northern Territories, encompassing the islands of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai.
Russia and Japan are taking a step forward in resolving the Kuril Islands standoff after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held the second rounds of talks on the issue in late 2016. The two leaders agreed to create a special regime on the islands leading to the establishment joint economic projects.