February 19
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reiterated Wednesday his determination to resolve a long-standing territorial dispute with Russia over a group of islands off northern Japan and conclude a postwar peace treaty, Kyodo News reported.

During a speech at a plenary session of a regional economic forum in Vladivostok, Abe said, "Over the long stretch of more than 70 years since the end of World War II, Japan and Russia have yet to conclude a peace treaty between them. President Putin and I agree in our belief that this is an abnormal state of affairs."

Tokyo is seeking to break the impasse in the territorial row by building trust with Moscow through ongoing economic cooperation in the Russian Far East and planned joint economic activities on the disputed islands.

"Through Japan-Russia cooperation, here, Vladivostok, and locations all around Far East Russia will become gateways where human resources, goods, and capital come together," Abe said.

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