Foreign Minister Yohei Kono said Tuesday he will visit Moscow for two days from Jan. 16 for peace treaty negotiations with his Russian counterpart, Igor Ivanov.

Kono’s announcement makes official the failure of Russia and Japan to meet the end-of-2000 goal they set for concluding a peace treaty. The goal for the treaty, which requires the resolution of a territorial dispute over islands north of Hokkaido, was stated in a bilateral agreement signed in 1997 in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia.

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