Russia has recommended Japan to take a calmer approach on the matter of disputed islands, as an overly emotional attitude could only hurt the process of reaching an agreement.
The statement was made by the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, after a meeting with his Japanese counterpart Koichiro Gemba in Tokyo.
“To be honest, opposing views prevail in Russian and Japanese society on the causes, course and outcome of World War II,”Lavrov said. Emotional opinions, even if they exist, should at least not be expressed in public as they could negatively affect the talks, he said.
The most sensitive issue on the matter, Japan’s claim to the four Russian Kuril islands, could be solved on the Russian part through a national referendum, Lavrov added.
At his end, Japanese foreign minister Koichiro Gemba said that progress in the discussions between the two countries has been made and that Japan and Russia intend to continue the talks in a calm manner. An economic treaty referring to the disputed islands may be signed, even if Japan will not risk its legal position on the matter, he said.
During the meeting, protesters gathered and shouted slogans asking the return of Russian islands to Japan.