Japan’s Abe to meet with Putin in Russia on April 27

Special to WorldTribune.com

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

The Kremlin says Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will travel to Russia and meet with President Vladimir Putin on April 27.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo in December. / AFP

A statement on the Kremlin website on April 25 said Abe and Putin will discuss the implementation of agreements they reached during Putin’s visit to Japan in December, but did not give specifics.

During that trip — Putin’s first state visit to Japan in 11 years — the two presidents failed to resolve a territorial dispute that has poisoned relations since World War II.

The Soviet Union seized islands off Japan’s northern coast in the closing days of the war, and Japan still claims the islands. Russia calls them the Southern Kuriles, while Japan calls them the Northern Territories.

The Kremlin statement said the talks would touch on the prospects for increased cooperation in the “political, trade, and humanitarian spheres,” and on regional and international affairs.

Abe’s visit also comes amid heightened concern over what U.S. President Donald Trump on April 24 called the destabilizing “belligerence” of North Korea, which has alarmed its neighbors with a series of nuclear and ballistic-missile tests.