Putin suggests long-awaited peace treaty to Japan

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, speaking to reporters, described Putin's proposal as an impromptu idea and said the two leaders had not yet discussed it. The Japanese leader has said a deal would unlock trade and investment from Japanese companies for Russian Federation, which is isolated from Western investment because of sanctions.

The main obstacle to signing a peace treaty is Tokyo's long-standing claims to the southern part of the Russian Kuril Islands, collectively known in Japan as the "Northern Territories".

The top government spokesman also said Japan will not change its position of seeking to resolve the issue of the islands' sovereignty, before concluding the peace treaty with Russian Federation.

As Donald Trump continues to up the ante on a trade war, with the USA president recently threatening to place tariffs on all Chinese exports to the United States, Beijing is moving to further solidify its already-close partnership with Russian Federation.

Putin has also been late to meetings with South Korean leaders, including former President Park Geun-hye by one hour and 45 minutes, and current South Korean President Moon Jae-in by 34 minutes, according to Yonhap. "Let's conclude a peace treaty before the end of this year, without any preconditions".

The dispute between Russian Federation and Japan centres on four islands in the strategically-located Kuril chain which the Soviet Union occupied at the end of war in 1945 but are claimed by Japan.

Abe and his officials may have not been pleased - the Japanese were "dealt a setback" because of Putin's delayed arrival, according to reports.

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Japanese media quoted Chief Cabinet Secretary Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga as saying that Putin's proposal came out of the blue: the issue had not been raised in pre-forum meetings.

"We've been trying to solve the territorial dispute for 70 years".

More than 6,000 delegates visited the Fourth Eastern Economic Forum with 100 business events, Trutnev told. Last year, Tokyo launched a complaint over plans to lay an undersea telecom cable, linking the three disputed islands with Russia's Sakhalin Island.

Xi thanked the Russian staff at the center for helping Chinese children recuperate and encouraged the young people of the two countries to serve as the pillars of their countries and envoys of bilateral friendship and carry forward China-Russia friendship from generation to generation.

Nor was it clear how numerous deals signed at the forum were foreign investments, and how many were domestic.

Xi said: "China has always been and is still a participant in development projects in the eastern part of Russian Federation".

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