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The Odds Appear Stacked Against Abe's Dreams of a Russian Treaty

Jan 22, 2019 | 15:13 GMT
The meeting Jan. 22 between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will mark their 25th since Abe assumed power in 2012.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before the opening ceremony of the cross-cultural year of Russia and Japan at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow on May 26, 2018.

(MAXIM SHEMETOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is in Moscow for his 25th meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin since 2012, this time carrying fresh hope that long-standing issues lingering between the countries since the end of World War II might finally be resolved. More than seven decades after the conflict concluded, Russia and Japan remain technically at war, and signing a lasting peace treaty remains near the top of Abe's to-do list. Those talks, which are set to get underway Jan. 22, are expected to include negotiation over the status of the archipelago that stretches between Japan's northernmost Hokkaido Prefecture and Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula, another issue that has long simmered between the countries....

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