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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday he wanted to personally sign a peace treaty agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin and did not want to "pass the baton" to future leaders.
The two countries have not signed a peace treaty after World War II because of disagreements over the ownership of the Southern Kuril islands.
"I do not want to pass the baton. I want to sign the peace agreement with President Putin with my own hand," Abe told lawmakers.
Moscow and Tokyo agreed to establish joint economic activities on the disputed islands to create favorable conditions for talks on a peace treaty between the countries during Putin's visit in December.
Abe said last month he planned to visit Russia "soon" this year.
2017.02.01 / 16:24