Japan, Russia Hold First Diplomatic-Defence Talks
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The foreign and defence ministers of Japan and Russia agreed Saturday to cooperate in fighting terrorism and piracy as the neighbours, still at odds over territorial woes, held an unprecedented security dialogue.
Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera held a so-called "2+2" meeting with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu at the government's guest house in Tokyo.
It was the first such diplomatic-defence talks between the two countries, which remain at odds over the sovereignty of a cluster of windswept islands to Japan's north and Russia's far east, AFP reported.
During the one-day meeting, the two sides agreed to carry out joint drills between Japan's Maritime Self-Defence Force and the Russian Navy designed to combat terrorists and pirates, the ministers said.
They also agreed to launch "Japan-Russia cyber-security talks" while stepping up other security and defence talks, including ministerial meetings, their joint statement said.
"We got off to a good start by turning to a new chapter of the Japanese and Russian relationship," Kishida told a joint news conference.
"Pushing for cooperation in the security sector will help enhance the entire relationship between Japan and Russia, which will have a good impact on negotiations on signing a peace treaty," he said.
Despite an important commercial relationship that is now much influenced by Japan's need to buy fossil fuels and Russia's desire to sell them, the two neighbors have failed to sign a peace treaty due to their territorial dispute.
The islands, which Japan calls the Northern Territories, but Russia administers as the Southern Kurils, were seized by Soviet troops as World War II thundered to a close.