Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on Monday denied a media report that the government is discussing jointly administering with Russia the disputed islands off Hokkaido as it seeks a breakthrough deal on a row that has prevented the two nations from inking a peace treaty to formally end World War II.

The Nikkei financial daily reported Monday that Moscow has already been informed of some details about such a proposal, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hoping to kick off negotiations on the plan with Russian leader Vladimir Putin at a summit slated for Dec. 15 in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Abe’s home turf.

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