Abe says will talk more on peace treaty, islands with Putin

A candidate for president of ruling party Japanese prime minister and head of current party president Shinzo Abe, speaks during a debate ahead of Liberal Democratic Party president election in Tokyo Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. Abe is vying for his third re-election as the ruling party leader next week, extending his stay in power to work on his long-cherished ambition, to revise his country's war-renouncing constitution. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he will meet again this year for more talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Putin's proposal for the two countries to sign a peace treaty and discuss the status of disputed islands.

Abe said Friday during a policy debate in his party that Japan wants to resolve the territorial dispute before signing a peace treaty.

Abe returned from Russia after meeting with Putin and attending an economic conference. He says the two leaders are likely to meet again this year.

Putin said the countries should sign a peace treaty before the end of the year and later discuss the islands.

The Soviet Union took the four southernmost Kuril Islands, which Japan calls the Northern Territories, in the war's closing days.

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