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TOKYO, February 7. /TASS/. Japan plans to continue talks on a peace treaty with Russia on the basis of the high-level agreements reached in Singapore back in 2018, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Sunday.

“The government led by me firmly relies on the outcome of the meeting between our countries’ leaders reached in 2018 in Singapore and we will continue talks on the basis of the agreements between our countries,” Suga told the National Rally to Demand the Return of the Northern Territories (Japan’s term for the Southern Kuril Islands).

The Japanese prime minister also described as regrettable the fact that 75 years after the end of World War II Japan and Russia haven’t signed a peace treaty yet.

According to the Japanese government’s decision, the National Rallies to Demand the Return of the Northern Territories are held annually on February 7 in memory of the first Russian-Japanese treaty signed that day in 1855.

These rallies are traditionally attended by the ministers, MPs from the ruling and opposition parties and former residents of the Southern Kuril Islands. This year the scale of the event was reduced and it was held online without the audience.

Moscow and Tokyo have been in talks to sign a peace treaty since the mid-20th century. The main stumbling block to achieving this is the ownership issue over the Southern Kuril Islands, called the Northern Territories in Japan. After the end of World War II, the Kuril Islands were incorporated into the Soviet Union. However, the ownership of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan Islands and uninhabited islands called Habomai has been challenged by Japan. The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly said that Russia’s sovereignty over these islands, which is committed to paper in international documents, cannot be called in question.