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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.

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