Abe to meet with Putin in Sochi

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday he wants to further develop Japan-Russia relations in a way that could help the two countries address long-standing issues of concern.

Abe said he will hold talks with Putin on Saturday in Sochi, Russia, where the two leaders will attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics on Friday.

“I hope the summit will help further promote personal trust with the president, lead to progress in work for signing a peace treaty and develop Japan-Russia relations as a whole,” Abe said at a meeting with ruling party lawmakers.

Japanese and Russian officials have been in talks to break the deadlock over a territorial dispute that originates from the closing days of World War II.

The dispute over four Russian-held, Japanese-claimed islands off Hokkaido has prevented Tokyo and Moscow from concluding a postwar peace treaty.