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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Japan Talks End, Kurils Unresolved

Talks between Russian leaders and Japanese Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda were successful even without progress on resolving the Kuril Islands dispute, a Foreign Ministry official said Thursday.

"The main goal of this visit was to intensify Russian-Japanese relations," said spokesman Grigory Karasin. "That was achieved."

Ikeda met Wednesday with President Boris Yeltsin and delivered a message from Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto voicing support for Yeltsin ahead of June presidential elections.

Ikeda also met with Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov for talks on fishing rights off the South Kuril Islands, trade and economic and scientific cooperation, Karasin said.

Primakov told Ikeda that Russia had cut its troop strength in the islands, which both countries claim, to 3,500 troops, Karasin said.

However, he said, the territorial claims were not debated. "The issue effectively was not discussed in detail," he said.

The two sides focused on Asian Pacific issues, Karasin said, particularly the situation in Taiwan. "Primakov supported easing tensions and resolving problems between Beijing and Taipei by peaceful means, proceeding from the fact that there is only one China," Karasin said.