OREANDA-NEWS. Taro Kono, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs, took part in a meeting of the budget commission of the upper house of parliament, where representatives of the opposition demanded details of the content of the dialogue between the two countries.

“I would not like to publicly discuss the details. I agreed with [Russian] Foreign Minister [Sergey] Lavrov that we would not make the content of the negotiations public,” said the head of the Japanese Foreign Ministry. Taro Kono also recalled that Tokyo has repeatedly protested recently over the activities of the Russian Armed Forces in the southern part of the Kuril Islands.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov and his Japanese counterpart, Takeo Mori, will hold a new round of talks on the issue of pacification on March 21 in Moscow. This was announced on March 18, Monday by the Japanese Foreign Ministry. According to the office, on March 22 Moscow will also host the next round of Japanese-Russian security talks, in which Takeo Mori and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov will take part. It is emphasized that bilateral cooperation in the field of national and regional security will be discussed.

For more than 70 years the peace treaty between Japan and Russia has not been signed. Japan calls it a condition of the return of the Southern Kuril Islands Iturup, Kunashir, Habomai, and Shikotan. Tokyo does not recognize sovereignty of Russia over those territories, considering them to be part of Hokkaido. Moscow considers them part of the Kurils and consistently recalls the legitimacy of Russian sovereignty, as the assignee of the USSR and also as a result of the World War 2.

Shortly before the talks, Sergey Lavrov commented that the problem of sovereignty over the islands was not and is not being discussed. Kremlin, commenting on the issue, stressed that the interests of the Russian citizens in the islands would not be infringed.