clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

RUSSIAN LEAVES JAPAN WITH IMPASSE INTACT

Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev wrapped up his four-day visit Sunday without making any visible progress toward settling a longstanding territorial dispute that has kept Japan from signing a peace treaty ending World War II.

Kozyrev had three rounds of talks with Foreign Minister Michio Watanabe and a meeting with Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, but neither side altered its stance over the four islands to the north of Japan that were seized by Soviet troops in 1945.Watanabe cautioned against optimism over settlement of the issue.

"It is impossible for something that has made little progress over 30 years in the past to be solved in six months or a year," Watanabe said Saturday following his last round of talks with Kozyrev.

Watanabe expressed the hope the groundwork will be laid for a solution during a visit to Japan by Russian President Boris Yeltsin in September.

Both Watanabe and Kozyrev agreed Japan and Russia should adopt a joint statement when Yeltsin visits.