OREANDA-NEWS  Tokyo rejects Moscow's proposal to create a special economic zone (SEZ) on the southern islands of the Kuril Ridge. This was stated by the country's Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi after talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in New York, Interfax writes with reference to the Japanese press.

The Japanese side was not satisfied with the plan by the fact that Russian laws will still be applied on the territory of the islands. This, according to Tokyo, would infringe on Japan's legal position in working on joint economic projects.

Lavrov and Motegi also touched upon the issue of a peace treaty between the countries — they agreed to continue negotiations and develop relations between Russia and Japan.

Moscow and Tokyo cannot sign a peace treaty following the Second World War because of the territorial dispute over the southern part of the Kuril Islands. Japan considers the islands of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and the Habomai Island group as its "northern territories". Moscow does not recognize the very fact of the territorial dispute.