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Lavrov to Kishida: Russia not to return Kuril Islands to Japan

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that there can be no compromise on the issue of the return of the Kuril Islands to Japan
Lavrov to Kishida

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said there is no likelihood of a compromise with Japan on the return of the disputed territories of the four southern Kuril Islands, Joinfo.ua reports with the reference to Japanese media.

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida met on Monday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, during a four-day trip to Russia that started Sunday in Moscow.

Fumio Kishida was set to hold high-level talks in hopes of making progress on the long-standing bilateral territorial dispute and restarting negotiations for concluding a World War II peace treaty.

Japan has been angered by repeated visits by Russian Cabinet members to some of the Russian-held islands claimed by Japan. The decades-old dispute has prevented the two nations from signing a peace treaty over World War II.

“I foresee that talks regarding the Northern Territories will be tough, but I would like to find a way to break the stalemate over the peace pact negotiations,” Kishida told reporters ahead of his departure Sunday.

After their talks, Kishida and Lavrov were holding a joint news conference.

“We reminded [our Japanese colleagues] that any progress in this issue is possible only after we receive a clear understanding of Japan’s recognition of post-war historical reality, including all provisions of the UN Charter,” Lavrov stated at the press conference.

Kishida said that he raised the territorial question and Lavrov expressed regret regarding the unilateral actions of Russia.

The Ministers agreed to hold bilateral consultations on the peace agreement in October.

They also discussed the expected visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan. Lavrov said the Kremlin accepted the invitation, but the exact date of the visit depends on Tokyo.

In 1945, Soviet troops entered the island of Kunashir, Iturup, Shikotan and Habomai, which administratively belonged to Nemuro Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido.

In February 1945, at the Yalta Conference of Heads of States parties to the coalition, parties agreed to the unconditional return of the southern part of Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands and the transfer of the Soviet Union after the defeat of Japan. Since then, Japan demands the return of the Northern Territories, and because of this dispute Moscow and Tokyo still has not signed a peace treaty a peace treaty over World War II.

In August this year, Japanese Foreign Ministry canceled a visit to the head office in Russia because of the visit of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to the Kuril Islands.

At the same time, the Japanese army after the vote in the lower house of parliament had the right to conduct military operations outside the country, which is unprecedented since the end of World War II.

The armed forces of Japan, according to the adopted law, are entitled to participate in actions to protect friendly countries. At the same time a foreign conflict must threaten the very existence of Japan.