Tokyo: The foreign ministers of Japan and Russia have agreed to strengthen economic and security cooperation but made no progress on resolving a long-standing territorial dispute over islands off northeastern Japan.
Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday the two countries need to address the territorial row in a calm manner.
The dispute over the islands — called the southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan — has kept the two nations from forging a peace treaty after World War II.
The islands were seized by Soviet troops in the closing days of the war. They are surrounded by rich fishing grounds.
Gemba said concluding a peace treaty with Russia is "more urgent than ever”.