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International relations

Abe says island talks with Russia do not contradict past policy

Tokyo sees pre-treaty negotiations with Russia covering disputed territory

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discusses Japan's stance on territorial talks with Russia at a news conference Nov. 16 in Darwin, Australia.   © Reuters

DARWIN, Australia -- The agreement between Japan and Russia to negotiate a peace treaty based on a 1956 declaration stipulating the return of two out of four disputed islands "does not in any way contradict" Tokyo's past position on the territorial dispute, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday.

"It has been our consistent stance to resolve the territorial issue and then conclude a peace treaty. There is no change to that," Abe told reporters here.

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