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Russia, Japan Push for End to Row Over Disputed Islands

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pose for a photo during their meeting in Vladivostok, Russia, Sept. 2, 2016.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to draw up proposals this year to end a row over the disputed islands Kurile Islands.

Tokyo-Moscow relations have been hampered for decades by a dispute over the islands, which Soviet troops seized at the end of World War Two.

Lingering tensions over the islands have prevented Japan and Russia from signing a peace treaty to formally end the war, hindering trade and investment ties.

"Particularly regarding a peace treaty, the two of us alone had quite an in-depth discussion,” Abe said Friday after meeting Putin in Vladivostok. "It is now clearer how to proceed in talks based on the 'new approach.' ”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Putin and Abe agreed that officials on both sides would keep working on a draft deal that the two leaders would consider when the Putin visits Japan in December.

This report includes material from Reuters and Interfax.

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