Kremlin says talks with Japan over territorial dispute could take years

File photo of a Russian vessel is seen off the coast of the Southern Kurile Island of Shikotan. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Moscow, Russia Mar 12, 2019, 03.29 PM (IST)

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that talks with Japan aimed at clinching a World War Two peace treaty between the two countries and ending a territorial dispute over a chain of islands in the Pacific could go on for years and were complex.

Japan has been mounting a push to resolve the dispute over four islands - known as the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kuriles in Russia - which has prevented Moscow and Tokyo from formally ending their World War Two hostilities.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been holding regular talks with President Vladimir Putin to end the decades-old dispute, but so far without a breakthrough.

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been holding regular talks with President Vladimir Putin to end the decades-old dispute, but so far without a breakthrough.