Moscow suspended talks about a WWII-era peace deal with Tokyo following restrictions over Ukraine
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks to the press in Tokyo, Japan, March 16, 2022. © Stanislav Kogiku/Getty Images
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has criticized Russia’s decision to suspend talks about the WWII-era peace deal in response to sanctions over Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine.
“Russia’s actions are extremely unreasonable and totally unacceptable,” Kishida told his country’s parliament on Tuesday.
The prime minister said that Japan’s sanctions were imposed over “Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” and that Moscow was “trying to shift the responsibility for Japan-Russia relations.”
Kishida said Tokyo remains committed to resolving the territorial dispute with Moscow that has prevented the two countries from signing a formal peace deal after the end of WWII. Japan claims four of Russia’s Kuril Islands as its territory.
Russia announced on Monday that it was suspending the talks regarding the Kurils and canceling visa-free trips for Japanese citizens to the islands. Moscow also suspended the talks on the joint economic development of the disputed territories.
“Tokyo bares full responsibility for the damage to the bilateral relations and the interests of Japan itself because it deliberately chose an anti-Russian course instead of a mutually beneficial partnership and good-neighborhood policies,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.