Russia, Japan foreign, defense ministers meet in Moscow
Meeting in Moscow, the Russian and Japanese foreign and defense ministers on Tuesday discussed international security and strengthening trust between the two countries.
This is the third meeting in such a format and first ever to take place in Russia’s capital.
Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov and Taro Kono as well as Defense Ministers Sergey Shoygu and Itsunori Onodera started the summit with one-on-one meetings before moving to a 2+2 format, the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.
The two sides focused on security issues both in the Asian-Pacific Region and across the world, possibilities for military cooperation, and the dispute over the Kuril Islands -- stretching between Japan and Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, according to the statement.
Both sides also agreed on the need for North Korea to denuclearize.
Kono also hailed the recent Helsinki summit between the U.S. and Russia, and the Singapore summit between the U.S. and North Korea.
The 2+2 format -- including both the foreign and defense ministers of Russia and Japan -- was created in 2013 under an agreement by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to settle the Kuril Islands dispute.
The 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed between the Allies and Japan, states that Japan must give up "all right, title and claim to the Kuril Islands," but also does not recognize the Soviet Union's sovereignty over them.