Vladimir Putin offers Kuril Islands peace deal to Japan's Abe

Clay Curtis
September 14, 2018

Vladimir Putin said Russian Federation welcomes more investment by Chinese companies and will offer good conditions to encourage more exchanges with China. The Japanese leader has said a deal would unlock trade and investment from Japanese companies for Russian Federation, which is isolated from Western investment because of sanctions.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday that Japan remains unchanged in its stance to sign a peace treaty with Russian Federation after resolving the issue of the four northern islands.

In his remarks on September 12, Putin said concluding a pact would create a better atmosphere and enable Russian Federation and Japan to "continue to resolve all outstanding issues like friends".

In a move that took Japanese officials by surprise, Putin publically proposed to Abe that the two sign peace treaty to end World War II.

"Both countries are trying to signal: If the United States pushes too far, we are going to move closer to each other", Alexander Gabuev, chairman of the Russian Federation in the Asia-Pacific Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center think tank, told the Washington Post.

Noting that this was Xi's seventh visit to Russian Federation as president and first attendance at the EEF, Wang said the trip carried on the tradition that China and Russian Federation support each other in holding major events. "Let's conclude a peace agreement by year's end without any preconditions".

Their two countries have been in dispute for seven decades over a chain of Pacific islands and as a result have still not formally ended their World War II hostilities.

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Japanese media quoted Chief Cabinet Secretary Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga as saying that Putin's proposal came out of the blue: the issue had not been raised in pre-forum meetings. "We have been negotiating for 70 years", Putin said.

It has kept the two countries from signing a peace accord.

While politics stole the limelight, the forum is primarily a political entity.

More than 6,000 delegates visited the Fourth Eastern Economic Forum with 100 business events, Trutnev told.

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon further delivered President Moon's words to invite President Putin to South Korea in the near future.

The disputed Kuril Islands lie between Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula and the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

TASS noted that the "Asian investment fund" GenFund was investing in the Far Eastern projects of a Russian Federation agro-holdings firm and in a fertilizer plant.

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