Japan PM Abe pledges to resolve decades-old Russia island row
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's prime minister said on Thursday he wants to find a "mutually acceptable solution" to a decades-old territorial row with Russia and sign a long-delayed peace treaty with Moscow.
Mr Shinzo Abe's apparently conciliatory comments are in marked contrast to his uncompromising stance on a dispute with China over the sovereignty of a different set of disputed islands.
"There is no change in my resolve to do everything I can towards sealing a peace treaty with Russia after resolving the issue of the Northern Territories," Mr Abe said, referring to the Russian-administered Southern Kurils.
In December last year, Mr Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to restart talks on signing a peace treaty formally ending the hostilities of World War II that has been stymied by the dispute.