Abe to address territorial dispute during Putin's visit — Japanese official
Japan’s senior official in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Hakubun Shimomura considers the upcoming visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the country in December to be the last chance for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to solve the territorial dispute with Russia.
"The (upcoming) visit is the last chance," as "Russia is not so easy to deal with," he was quoted as saying by Kyodo news agency.
According to Shimomura, it will not be possible to tackle the issue of ‘northern territories’ (Kuril Islands) for a long time if the sides fail to do it now, and Prime Minister (Shinzo Abe) is aware of the fact. Also, he said, without solving the territorial dispute, it is not possible to make a peace treaty between the two countries.
At the present time, preparations are underway in Moscow and Tokyo for the forthcoming visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan. According to presidential aide Yuri Ushakov, it will take place on Dec. 15-16. The two countries’ leaders discussed the territorial dispute during their meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Peru on Nov. 19.