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International relations

Putin casts shadow on Japan's hopes for island return

Abe to visit Russia in January, seeking to accelerate talks toward peace treaty

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a news conference on Nov. 15 in Singapore. Putin raised questions about the details of a 1956 declaration to be used as a basis for peace treaty negotiations with Japan.   © Reuters

TOKYO/MOSCOW -- One day after Japan and Russia agreed to accelerate talks toward a long-delayed peace treaty, efforts to settle the territorial dispute that has long blocked a pact have already run into their first potential stumbling block.

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