Japan and Russia Agree to Resume Peace Talks After 58 Years of Tension

The Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergei Lavrov suggested to the Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida that both countries should work together in efforts to resolve their on-going disputes regarding territory and continue peace talks. Lavrov also said they should find a common ground in an effort to deal with the instability that plagues the Korean Peninsula.

Lavrov and his company of Russian defense officials arrived in Japan on November 1 to begin the meetings that will hopefully improve the relations between the two countries. Russia and Japan have been at odds ever since the end of World War II. The meetings will resolve the issues regarding the sovereignty of islands that lay north of Japan’s Hokkaido.

The dispute over these islands ownership has gone on for nearly 58 years and it has been the main reason the two countries have not been able to sign a peace treaty.

The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe and the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, met in Moscow to continue talks of signing a peace treaty during a meeting held late in April.

The Brics Post reports that the Japanese Foreign Minister, Fumio Kishida made an announcement to the press stating: “Today, Minister Lavrov and I agreed that our two nations shall hold vice-ministerial level talks in either late January or early February.”


During these peace talks, both gentlemen have also discussed ways to increase defensive exchanges, develop similar anti-terrorism and anti-piracy strategies. They have also agreed to cooperate in things like economic strength, security (which includes cyber bullying) and people-to-people exchanges.

“The Russia-Japan relationship in recent times has enjoyed a positive atmosphere, allowing us to resume discussions on [the peace treaty],” Lavrov told reporters.

Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Defense Minister, went on to say that he would raise the topic of the Japanese/American missile defense system. Shoigu states that this alliance is a source of tension in the Asia-Pacific region.

Russian Minister Sergey Lavrov said: “Such meetings are not a format that would cause problems for the Japan-US relationship. And we hope that the Japan-US relationship wouldn’t get in the way of cooperation with Russia. When we create friendly relationships with one party, we don’t do it to antagonize another.”

The two nations will continue negotiations in Moscow this coming spring.

Evette Champion

Evette Champion is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE