Japan PM Shinzo Abe to visit Russia for summit with President Vladimir Putin next month

Shinzo Abe (left) and Vladimir Putin (right).
Shinzo Abe (left) and Vladimir Putin (right).PHOTO: EPA / AFP

TOKYO (REUTERS) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Russia in late April for a summit with President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday (March 20).

Abe has pledged to resolve a decades-old territorial dispute with Russia over a string of western Pacific islands, seized by Soviet troops at the end of World War Two, in the hope of building better ties to counter a rising China.

The feud has precluded a formal peace treaty between the two countries.

Talking to reporters after a security meeting among foreign and defence ministers from Japan and Russia, Kishida also said the two sides had agreed to demand that North Korea, which has carried out a series of nuclear and missile tests in defiance of United Nations sanctions, halt such actions. 

“We had in-depth talks today over North Korea’s nuclear and missile issues and agreed to demand strongly that North Korea refrain from further provocations and observe UN Security Council resolutions,” Kishida said.

North Korea’s official media said on Sunday the reclusive state had tested a new high-thrust engine, which an analyst said was a dangerous step towards the North’s goal of developing a rocket that could hit the United States.