Japan PM to visit Russia for summit with Putin next month

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Russia in late April for a summit with President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday.

Tokyo: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Russia in late April for a summit with President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday.

Abe has pledged to resolve a decades-old territorial dispute with Russia over a string of western Pacific islands, seized by Soviet troops at the end of World War Two, in the hope of building better ties to counter a rising China.

The feud has precluded a formal peace treaty between the two countries.

Talking to reporters after a security meeting among foreign and defence ministers from Japan and Russia, Kishida also said the two sides had agreed to demand that North Korea, which has carried out a series of nuclear and missile tests in defiance of UN sanctions, halt such actions. 

"We had in-depth talks today over North Korea`s nuclear and missile issues and agreed to demand strongly that North Korea refrain from further provocations and observe UN

Security Council resolutions," Kishida said.

North Korea`s official media said on Sunday the reclusive state had tested a new high-thrust engine, which an analyst said was a dangerous step towards the North`s goal of developing a rocket that could hit the United States.