November 22, 2019 / 10:48 AM / 14 days ago

Japan foreign minister to visit Russia to discuss formal WWII treaty: official

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi shakes hands with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the start of a bilateral meeting in Nagoya, Japan, November 22, 2019. Franck Robichon/Pool via REUTERS

NAGOYA, Japan (Reuters) - Japan’s foreign minister agreed on Friday to visit Russia next month for talks about a formal World War Two peace treaty, a ministry official said, following a decades-old dispute that has prevented the countries from reaching a pact.

Toshimitsu Motegi agreed with counterpart Sergei Lavrov to visit Russia in mid-December and discuss the issue, the official said at a briefing on the sidelines of a meeting of the Group of 20 (G20) nations in the central Japanese city of Nagoya.

Japan claims a string of Russian-controlled western Pacific islands. The territorial row has precluded a formal peace treaty between the two countries.

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Alex Richardson

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