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Russia ready for constructive dialogue with Japan: Putin


09:09, December 21, 2012

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a major press conference in Moscow, Russia, on Dec. 20, 2012. (Xinhua/Jiang Kehong)

MOSCOW, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Moscow had received a signal from Japan on concluding a peace treaty and looked forward to constructive dialogue with Tokyo, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

"We have minded the signal from Tokyo, from the party, which had returned to the power, that the party leaders are for a peace treaty," Putin told reporters at his annual press conference, adding "this is a very important signal, and we appreciate it."

"We rely on constructive dialogue with our Japanese colleagues (on the territorial issue)," the president said.

Meanwhile, when asked whether he supported the idea of giving his name to one of the Southern Kuril islands, which are also claimed by Japan, to stress the archipelago belonged to Russia, Putin said, "It is not necessary at all to give my name to it. We may choose from the names of Pushkin, Tolstoy -- giving those names would be more productive."

Russia and Japan have long been at odds over the sovereignty of the four Pacific islands, which are called the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russia. The dispute has blocked a peace treaty between the two countries since the end of World War II.

Japan's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) secured a majority in the country's recent general election and LDP leader Shinzo Abe is expected to become the next prime minister at a special session of the Diet on Dec. 26.

The press conference, the eighth major one for Putin as president and the first since his return to the Kremlin this May, attracted more than 1,000 Russian and 200 foreign journalists. Enditem

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