Japan, Russia agree to restart peace pact talks
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday to restart talks on a peace treaty hampered since World War II by a territorial row, an official said.
In a 20-minute telephone conversation, Abe, who was formally elected to his second stint as Japan's premier on Wednesday, also agreed to visit Russia at an "appropriate" date in 2013, the Japanese official said.
Abe's predecessor, Yoshihiko Noda, had planned to visit Russia in December but the trip was cancelled due to a problem with Putin's health, Japanese media said.
Those reports were immediately denied by Putin's spokesman who said the trip had not been definitively scheduled and that it could take place in January.