Japanese Prime Minister reveals timing of 'important summit' with Putin
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday that he was ready to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in November-December and pointed out the importance of the summit, Sputnik reported.
"The negotiations between the leaders that will be held in November-December will be important," Abe said, as quoted by the NHK broadcaster.
On Wednesday, Putin proposed signing a peace treaty between Russia and Japan by the end of the year without any preconditions. The Japanese Foreign Ministry told Sputnik that it was not ready to comment on the offer, but noted that Tokyo's position on the issue remained unchanged.
The main issue so far preventing the parties from signing the treaty is a disagreement concerning a group of four islands that both countries claim — Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai, collectively referred to as the Southern Kurils by Russia and the Northern Territories by Japan.
After Russian President Vladimir Putin's trip to Japan in December 2016, Moscow and Tokyo agreed to develop joint projects on the disputed islands.
In April, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Russia and held talks with Russian President, during which the sides reached an agreement to provide an opportunity for former Kuril Islands' residents to travel to the islands by plane without visas.
The first plane with a Japanese delegation on board landed earlier in July this year at the Mendeleyevo airport as part of visa-free flights from Japan to Kuril Islands.