Executive Intelligence Review


Japan and Russia Are Dead Serious about Peace Treaty

Nov. 22, 2018 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are determined to reach a peace treaty formally ending World War II between their countries while both are still in office. After sidelines talks between the two in at the ASEAN summits in Singapore Nov. 14, Abe said,

“Under the leadership of me and President Putin, I’m determined to complete peace treaty negotiations, an issue of concern that has been left after the end of the war.”

Their scheduled meeting on the sidelines of the Nov. 30-Dec. 1 G20 summit in Buenos Aires, is only the first of three they are expected to hold during the coming months. Japan Times reported Nov. 16 that a Japanese government source had told them that arrangements are being made for Abe to visit Russia in late January, and that Abe is also exploring substantive discussions with Putin when Japan hosts the G20 summit in Osaka in June 2019.

Meanwhile, TASS reports today that Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono has suddenly dropped his ministry’s standard phrase for referring to what Japan calls its “Northern Territories,” which have been occupied since World War II by the Soviet Union and then Russia, which calls them the “Southern Kurile Islands.” The Japanese government had always called them “ancestral territory,” but now Kono refuses to do so. According to Kyodo News, Kono said, “Since the next round of [high-level] talks is expected to take place soon, I would like to refrain from making statements on the issue.”

Agreement on the status of these islands has long been the major sticking-point for a peace treaty.