Russian President Vladimir Putin met in the Kremlin Monday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the first top-level Russo-Japanese summit in almost a decade.
The two wrestled for hours with the problem that has stymied Russian and Japanese leaders for almost 70 years: how to find a mutually acceptable and hopefully profitable way to finally end World War II.
President Vladimir Putin shaking hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Kremlin on Monday.
"The leaders of both countries agreed that the situation where, 67 years after the conclusion of [World War II], we have still been unable to conclude a bilateral peace treaty, looks abnormal," said a joint statement at the meeting’s end Monday.
"We have ordered our foreign ministries to intensify contacts with an aim to developing a mutually acceptable plan. This will prioritize two parallel processes: discussion of the main subjects of the peace agreement and, simultaneously, ways to actively promote improvements across the full range of Russian-Japanese relations," it said.
Many new circumstances are driving Moscow and Tokyo to take a fresh look at one another, despite the debate that has raged since the end of World War II about the rightful ownership of the Kuril Islands, which Russia has occupied since the end of the war but Japan still claims. The dispute is the major reason the two nations never signed a peace treaty.
But there is one big obstacle that continues to stand in the way of any true breakthrough: the territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands. These four small specks of land off Japan’s northern tip were occupied by Soviet forces in the waning days of World War II, and resolving their status looks as unsolvable as ever. Without a deal over them, no formal peace treaty seems even remotely possible.
"There is a mutual wish to find a solution to the Kuril issue," says Anatoly Koshkin, an expert with the official Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow.
Kansas City Jewish Community Center shooter: “I was an FBI Informant” 2014 04 24 Kansas City Jewish Community Center shooter: “I was an FBI Informant”
…… Which is EXACTLY how we called it when this story broke a few weeks back. We also mentioned that the SPLC, just discarded from the FBI “hate” website… Would be the prime benefactor.
Ex-KKK Leader Was Given a New Identity Years Before Shooting
Glenn Miller Claims He Was an FBI Informant
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John Kerry and the Pope set to face off with Jewish Knight Templars on the Temple Mount 2014 04 24
This is the week that supposedly spells the end of the peace process or its end. My money is on a continuation that has no real substance or direction.
What’s the alternative?
With Passover and Easter over, Secretary Kerry can return to the Middle East crisis. This, after dealing so successfully with crisis in the Ukraine. [Is the author joking? - RIC]