Moscow and Tokyo never reached a peace treaty following World War II due to conflicting claims over four Pacific islands close to Japan’s northern coast, known as the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan.
The disputed islands, which were inhabited by the Japanese and under Tokyo’s control based on an agreement with Russia in 1855, were captured by the Soviet Union in 1945. Japan continues to lay claims to the islands.
Putin and Abe held talks on the sidelines of a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Russia in Singapore on Wednesday, where they discussed the peace treaty, Presstv reported.
Abe described the discussion as "substantive," announcing that he is “planning to visit Russia early next year.”
He noted that he and the Russian leader "are determined to complete the talks on a peace treaty."
"We will solve the territorial issue and sign a peace treaty based on trust built with [President Putin]," Abe said after the talks.
Earlier, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the two leaders had agreed on intensifying Russian-Japanese negotiations on the peace treaty based on the 1956 declaration.