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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kurils Talks Closed

TOKYO -- Negotiations aimed at resolving a long-standing territorial row between Japan and Russia will be kept under wraps at a Moscow summit next week, a report said Thursday.

Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi is to visit President Boris Yeltsin in Moscow from Nov. 11 to 13 to help pave the way for the signing of a peace treaty to formally mark a new era in relations after World War II.

Both sides aim to resolve their dispute over ownership of four small islands and sign the treaty by 2000.

But a senior Japanese foreign ministry official said Yeltsin's reply to Japan's proposal for border demarcation around the islands will not be made public, Jiji Press reported.

Yeltsin has promised to respond to an undisclosed Japanese initiative to settle the dispute during Obuchi's visit.

"Even if it is not made public, it will be possible to announce a Moscow declaration," the Japanese official said.