Russia believes a peace treaty with Japan comes with a condition: Tokyo must “clarify historical reality” of the World War II.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida had a meeting Monday. The Russian FM said it would not be possible to reach progress on a peace treaty unless Japan recognized WWII results.
Kishida is on a three-day visit to Russia to talk about the disputed islands seized by Soviet forces after Japan’s surrender during WWII. Bitter disputes over the islands which Russia believes to be a part of the Kuril chain has been a major obstacle to trade ties.
Kishida said Japan and Russia should come to a “mutually acceptable solution to the territorial issue” of the islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan and the Habomai islets, The Japan Times reported. However, Lavrov apparently refused to call those “northern territories,” as recognized by Japan.
"Neither the northern territories of Japan or Russia are the subject of our dialogue,” Russia's Tass news agency quoted Lavrov as saying. “The conclusion of a peace treaty is the only item on the agenda. It has been agreed by both leaders."
According to Lavrov, the “historical aspect” of the south Kuril islands is a “major obstacle” to reaching a peace treaty. “A dialogue must be continued, but we won’t be able to move forward without clarifying historical reality," Lavrov said.
"The Russian approach bases on all agreements reached, they remain invariable for the present day. In particular, we reminded that progress on this issue is possible only after we get clarity as to Japan’s recognition of all post-war realities, including the U.N. Charter in its entirety."