The Kuril Islands dispute has been an irritant between Tokyo and Moscow for more than 60 years (photo:dpa)

Japan and Russia put island hostilities aside to boost trade and security

The 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum provided an opportune moment for Japan and Russia - still formally at war after a failed peace treaty after the Second World War - to take a fresh and positive look at their mutual needs. Moscow is eager for Japanese involvement in the Russian economy. The warming of relations is seen as an attempt by Tokyo and Moscow to transform what has been an uneasy Russo-Japanese relationship, boost trade and keep China at bay.

JAPAN and Russia have made moves towards easing a half-century deadlock in relations in order to boost trade and minimise China’s threat to Russia’s Far East.

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Dr. Stefan Lippert
The two powers are in the process of overcoming a political obstacle that has put a serious strain on their relations since 1945 - the dispute over the four South Kuril Islands
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