MOSCOW – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting in Singapore next week, Russia’s ITAR-Tass news agency reported Wednesday.
The meeting will take place during Putin’s three-day visit to Singapore from Tuesday, on the fringe of gatherings related to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), according to the report.
The key issue will be the issue of sovereignty over the Russian-held northwestern Pacific islands, known as the Northern Territories in Japan, which has prevented the two countries from concluding a post-World War II peace treaty.
In September, Putin made a proposal to conclude such a treaty without setting any preconditions.
Japan and Russia held a meeting of senior diplomats in Moscow on Oct. 31 to lay the groundwork for a bilateral summit. The diplomats mainly discussed joint economic activities on the disputed islands off Hokkaido.