Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Government Meets Tokyo Delegation

Top Cabinet officials told a visiting Japanese parliamentary delegation Tuesday that Moscow wanted to settle long-standing disputes with Tokyo, and offered help with cleanup after last week's nuclear accident in Japan.

"There are a number of problems that need our particular attention and joint effort,'' Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was quoted as saying by Interfax.

The Kremlin and Japan never formally signed a peace treaty ending World War II because of a dispute over the Kuril Islands. The Soviet Union seized four of these islands in 1945, at the end of the war, but Japan still claims them.

While no breakthrough on the dispute has been made, relations between Moscow and Tokyo have improved considerably since the 1991 Soviet collapse.

Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told the Japanese delegation that Moscow intends to "stay on the course of building a constructive partnership with Japan," Interfax reported.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin expressed hope that the new Japanese Cabinet, named by Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi on Tuesday, will "continue to pursue a policy of creative partnership with Russia."

Russia also offered help with dealing with the nuclear accident, Japan's worst ever. The accident Thursday in Tokaimura, a town 112 kilometers northeast of Tokyo that houses a sprawling nuclear complex, exposed at least 49 people to radiation, including three who were hospitalized.