Russia Accuses Japan of Creating Tensions Prior to Talks of Formally Ending World War II
Diplomacy, News

Russia Accuses Japan of Creating Tensions Prior to Talks of Formally Ending World War II 

Russia has accused Tokyo of deliberately trying to create tensions prior to the planned visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss about formally ending the World War II hostilities. The Japanese ambassador has also been summoned by Russia.

Russian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that it had “invited” Japanese Ambassador Toyohisa Kozuki to the ministry over remarks made by Tokyo about the possible return to Japan of a disputed Pacific island chain.

The dispute, referred as the Southern Kuriles and Northern Territories by Russia and Japan respectively, has prevented Moscow and Tokyo from signing an official peace treaty to end World War II.

At the end of the war, Soviet military seized the islands and even today, Russia occupies the territory. Nevertheless, former Japanese residents and family members have been allowed by Russia to visit the territory in the past years.

The Foreign Ministry of Russia said the statements made by the Japanese governments recently attempted to “artificially incite the atmosphere regarding the peace-treaty problem and try to enforce its own scenario of settling the issue.”

“Such statements flagrantly distort the essence of the agreements between Japanese and Russian leaders to accelerate the talks’ progress” and “disorientate” members of the public in both countries, the Russian ministry said.

The Russian ministry also cited Tokyo’s comments over the need to ready the island residents for a return of the chain to Japan. The ministry also mentioned Japanese prime minister’s comments about 2019 seeing a breakthrough in the negotiations.

The ministry feels that Japan is attempting to “force its own scenario” on Russia over the talks.

After Kozuki met the Russian ministry, Japan’s Foreign Ministry said, “The Japanese government will continue the negotiations process in the framework of its main position — to resolve the territorial dispute and then signing a peace treaty.”

Tokyo would continue negotiations with Russia “in calm atmosphere”, Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

Russia’s position on the Kuriles remains unchanged that Japan must accept the outcome of World War II, including Russia’s sovereignty over the disputed islands, the Russian ministry stressed.

As per the reports, Abe is scheduled to visit Russia on January 21 to discuss the peace treaty with Putin. The two leaders had previously met in November and agreed to accelerate talks to officially end World War II.

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