Lavrov spoke about the working groups on activities of Russia and Japan on the Kuril Islands

© RIA Novosti / Michael Voskresenskiye in fotomancer foreign Affairs of Japan, Taro Kono of the meeting with the Minister of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov in Moscow. 24 Nov 2017<img src="/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/11/5233e6dde6069155e866198ad5a7fc08.jpg" alt="Lavrov spoke about the working groups on activities of Russia and Japan on the Kuril Islands" />© RIA Novosti / Michael Voskresenskiye the image Bank

Two working groups were formed to examine the issue of joint economic activities of Japan and Russia on the Kuril Islands, their meeting will be held in December, and the Deputy foreign Ministers of the two countries to discuss the problems will occur in early 2018, said Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

«This subject is considered in negotiating the channel at the level of Deputy foreign Ministers. For a more substantive study established two working groups: one for commercial aspects of joint economic activities, and the second on consular and logistical issues that must be resolved in order to implement relevant projects on the Islands. We supported the proposal by our Japanese colleagues to hold a meeting of the two working groups in December, and by their results we will plan the date for the next round of negotiations under the leadership of Deputy Ministers, I think, early next year,» he said at a press conference with the foreign Minister of Japan, Taro Kono.

«We have agreed to give the order to accelerate negotiations on issues of joint economic activities on Islands in the period up to the spring, to hold talks at the level of Department Directors in mid-December, and then, in the second half of January or in February — consultations at the level of Deputy foreign Ministers», — said the head of the Japanese foreign Ministry.

Japan claims the southern Kurile Islands of Kunashir, Shikotan, Iturup and Habomai, speaking about the conclusion of a peace Treaty between Tokyo and Moscow. Russia’s position is that the southern Kuril Islands became part of the Soviet Union at the end of the Second world war and the Russian sovereignty over them with appropriate international legal design, not subject to doubt.