Japan seeks progress in treaty talks with Russia

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(VOVWORLD) - Japan wants to make 2019 a "historic year" in advancing peace treaty talks with Russia despite a sharp divide over a decades-long territorial dispute.

Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono made a statement following the first round of talks on a peace treaty between Japan and Russia in Moscow on Monday.

Mr. Kono and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov sought to smooth the way for a summit of their leaders on January 22 in Russia as their leaders have agreed to step up talks based on a 1956 joint declaration that mentions the transfer of two disputed islands off Hokkaido.