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Japanese PM Abe rejects proposal of Russia-Japan peace treaty

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tokyo could not sign a peace treaty with Russia without preconditions on territorial issues, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday in the Russian city of Sochi, reported Xinhua News Agency (China).

"Prime Minister Abe ... said that this approach is unacceptable for Japan today and that we must first reach a principled decision on territorial issues and then talk about a peace treaty," he said during a Q&A session at a meeting of the International Valdai Discussion Club.

Last month, Putin proposed Abe sign the treaty and resolve the territorial spat later.

"This does not mean that we will stop resolving it or we will throw it into a scrapyard of history as if nothing had happened," Putin said.

Russia and Japan have not signed a post-World War II peace treaty due to their rival claims to four Pacific islands, called the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan.

The president said that Russia is trying to create conditions to build trust in its relations with Japan in order to sign the peace treaty.

"We are ready to proceed with joint economic activity on these islands ... It is being implemented rather modestly. That is the problem. But we are ready to work further," he said.

In September 2017, Putin and Abe agreed to conduct joint economic activities on the controversial islands and prioritized projects in aquaculture, electricity, greenhouse facilities, garbage disposal and tourism.

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