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.