Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday pledged to step up talks with Russia to conclude a postwar peace treaty, among other major diplomatic challenges this year.

"As we are at a major turning point, we will aggressively pursue the resolution of Japan's postwar diplomatic concerns," Abe said in a New Year's statement, referring to peace treaty talks with Russia, improving ties with China and an expected second meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"Japan will draw the global spotlight as we will welcome top world leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, as host of the Group of 20 summit" in Osaka in June.