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International relations

Suga and Putin affirm goal of peace treaty based on 1956 declaration

After first call, Japan's new PM says he is confident in 'frank' talks with Russian leader

New Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin look to meet in person at an early date.  (Photos by Maho Obata and Uichiro Kasai)

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga reaffirmed his intent to reach a postwar peace treaty between Tokyo and Moscow based on a 1956 declaration as he held his first conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

A peace deal has been blocked by the Northern Territories issue, a group of Japanese islands off Hokkaido which were occupied by Russia at the end of World War II and are still administered by Moscow. 

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