Russia and Japan launch territorial row talks
MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian and Japanese diplomats held talks in Moscow on Monday in a bid to restart stalled negotiations over a territorial row that has kept the two neighbours from signing a World War II peace treaty and rejuvenating economic ties.
The talks between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov and his Japanese counterpart Shinsuke Sugiyama follow an April trip to Moscow by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The first high-level visit by a Japanese premier in a decade ended with Mr Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreeing to try to find a solution to the status of the Kuril Islands - claimed by Tokyo despite being taken by the Soviet Red Army in 1945.
"As our leaders agreed, we are assuming the discussion of the main parameters and modalities for upcoming peace agreement negotiations," Russian news agencies quoted Mr Morgulov as saying at the start of the meeting.