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International relations

Putin's olive branch fails to impress Japan

Proposed peace treaty pulls focus away from territorial dispute

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to sign a peace treaty with Japan "with no preliminary conditions" by the end of 2018.   © Reuters

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia -- Russian President Vladimir Putin's offer Wednesday to sign a peace agreement with Japan this year has left Tokyo wondering what will become of efforts to resolve their territorial dispute over a chain of Pacific islands.

"Let's sign a peace agreement -- not now, but before the end of the year, without any preliminary conditions," Putin said during a plenary session at the Eastern Economic Forum in the Russian city of Vladivostok.

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