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Russia and Japan to reopen talks over islands dispute

MOSCOW--Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday pledged to renew talks on solving a territorial dispute over Pacific islands that has prevented the two countries from signing a World War II peace treaty.

The two leaders agreed it was “abnormal” their countries had not signed a peace treaty 67 years after the end of World War II and expressed determination to overcome “the existing differences” on the islands dispute through talks, according to a joint declaration adopted in the Kremlin.

The declaration said Abe and Putin agreed to order their foreign ministers to speed up talks on “developing mutually acceptable options” for a solution.

Abe told reporters in the Kremlin at a news conference alongside Putin that the agreement to accelerate the search for an acceptable solution for signing a peace treaty was a “great result.”

Abe, who has insisted that strong personal relations with Putin was key for solving the problem, added: “I feel that we have established personal, trusting relations.”

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands after they exchanged documents in Moscow's Kremlin, Monday, April 29.

(AP)

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