Fri Sep 14, 2018, 01:45 AM

Russia's Putin Tells Japan's Abe: 'Let's Sign Peace Deal This Year'

Reuters•September 12, 2018

By Denis Pinchuk and Polina Nikolskaya

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin turned to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on a conference stage on Wednesday and offered to sign a peace treaty by the end of this year to formally end World War Two hostilities between their countries.

But soon after Putin made the dramatic offer, a Japanese government spokesman in Tokyo said Japan wants the return of islands in the Pacific captured by Russian troops in the last days of the war before it signs a peace treaty.

Russia and Japan have been in dispute for seven decades over the islands and as a result have still not formally ended their World War Two hostilities. The standoff has held back economic ties between the two near-neighbors.

"An idea has just come into my head," Putin said to Abe during a question and answer session at an economic forum in the Russian city of Vladivostok.



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