Japan, Russia hold talks to end strained relations
15 September, 2018, 03:22 | Author: Carlos George
On a related note this was not the first time when Putin and Xi were occupied in "pancake diplomacy", as earlier in June, Putin prepared a Chinese pancake, which Xi later tasted ahead of visit to China.
Mr Xi agreed with Mr Abe's assessment that the "horizon for bilateral cooperation is widening".
China and Japan should always adhere to the four political documents signed by the two sides, consolidate political foundation, follow the right direction, and manage and control their differences in a constructive way, Xi said. Should the dispute finally be put to an end, Russian Federation and Japan could formally sign a peace agreement - 71 years after the end of the World War II.
Over the years, negotiations to reach a peace agreement have seen both friendly gestures and hardline statements.
The meeting demonstrates Russia's growing economic focus on Asia as Moscow attempts to weather its prolonged standoff with the West.
The stumbling block has always been the membership of the South part of the Kuril Islands: after the war, the entire archipelago was incorporated into the Soviet Union.
"(China) is the ideal instrument to project Russia as a resurgent global power, so essentially the Russia narrative is that China, Russia and to a lesser extent India, are part of this new dynamic world order", he said.
"Japan and Russian Federation - both President Putin and myself - share the same position and determination to solve our territorial disputes", he said.
"We now face an important opportunity to develop and improve ties", Mr Xi said.
Japanese media have floated October 23, the date on which the treaty took effect, as the likely timing of Abe's visit. The standoff has held back economic ties between the two near-neighbours. Abe said that Putin and he have outlined a roadmap for joint projects on the disputed islands.
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"We are determined to develop Russian-Japanese cooperation based on the principles of good-neighborliness, mutual respect and mutual consideration of interests."
Trump has enlisted China's help in enforcing sanctions on North Korea, but the USA government last month hit a Russian shipping company with sanctions for allegedly helping North Korea to evade sanctions on illicit oil deals. Mr Abe counts China's influence as crucial towards achieving the complete denuclearisation of North Korea.
Putin and Abe have met more than 20 times to discuss the dispute.
Mr Abe told the forum that Japan is on the same page as China and Russian Federation on North Korea relinquishing its nuclear arms.
Abe returned to office for a rare second term in December 2012, promising a hard line toward China in a territorial row over tiny islands in the East China Sea. He stressed, however, that nothing has yet been decided on such a summit. Putin noted that this "simple idea" came to his mind "right now and right here".
"Let's conclude a peace treaty before the end of this year, without any pre-conditions".
Mr Abe, who was on the same stage, did not reply.
Japan attaches great importance to China's important role in global and regional affairs, and would like to enhance communication and coordination with the Chinese side on major issues concerning regional peace and stability, Abe said.
Both Moscow and Tokyo claim sovereignty over the islands, known in Russian Federation as the Kurile islands and in Japan as the Northern Territories.
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