After meeting at the Kremlin on April 29, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced their intention to resume talks over the disputed Northern Territories. Situated between Hokkaido and Kamchatka Peninsula, the four disputed islands — known in Russia as the Southern Kurils — were invaded by Stalin three days after Japan's surrender at the end of World War II.

Since then, unwillingness to compromise on both sides has stalled progress toward resolution of the dispute, and prevented the signing of a formal post-WWII peace treaty between Russia and Japan.

In the past, leaders from both states have backed away from a territorial settlement for fear of domestic political punishment. Is there any evidence to suggest that Abe and Putin will succeed in concluding a peace treaty where their predecessors have failed?