Japan, Russia to hold talks on isles


Deputy Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama and his Russian counterpart will hold working-level consultations Aug. 19 in Moscow over a long-running territorial dispute, the Foreign Ministry said Friday.

Sugiyama’s meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov is expected to hash out the two countries’ sovereignty claims over four Russian-held islands off Hokkaido seized by the Soviets in the dying days of the war, according to sources close to Russo-Japanese ties.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed at an April summit in Moscow to accelerate stalled negotiations on the issue in a bid to resolve a dispute that has prevented the two countries from signing a treaty to formally end World War II hostilities.

Tokyo and Moscow plan to arrange a one-on-one meeting between Abe and Putin on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Sept. 5 and 6, the sources said.

Later in the fall, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is expected to visit Japan for further consultations, increasing the pace of bilateral discussions on the matter.

The territories — Etorofu, Kunashiri and Shikotan islands and the Habomai islet group — were seized after Japan’s surrender.

  • Jay Wilson

    These talks will get Japan nothing. Russia has no intention of returning any of the islands they STOLE from Japan AFTER Japan surrendered

    • Anatole

      I am sure Japan has the legitimate right to possess the so-
      called northern territories. Our country should return the islands beginning from Iturup (Etorofu) to the south till Hokkaido because Russia has to abide by the international law. We need to be good neighbors.

      • Jay Wilson

        Fat chance of that happening. Russia stole the islands and now has the nerve to ask Japan to invest in them

  • Jay Wilson

    Russia will not give Japan anything, as when they last agreed to, Russia backed out of the deal

    • ff

      I’d rather have them at least talk it out, and have a bit of understanding for the other, than the tensions grow, and say one accidently sinks another’s ship patrolling the Isles. That would be very bad.

  • Yoshiko

    I hope Russia and Japan will be better partners more than relationships with Usa. Current tensions of Russia with Usa about the Snowden case is the best and only timeframe for Japan to get better talks with russian president Putin.

    • Jay Wilson

      Are you serious? Russia wants Japan to throw its money away in the STOLEN islands in return for little to no returns for Japan

      • Yoshiko

        stop writing this nonsense, check the history first before writing such provocative things.

      • Jay Wilson

        What have I said that is provocative? The islands were taken from Japan AFTER she surrendered