Leaders of Russia, China discuss bilateral ties, expressing their friendship

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Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin toast as they taste a food, during a visit to an exhibition during the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.

A treaty without preconditions would leave Russian Federation in control of the disputed islands, which Russian Federation calls the Southern Kuriles and Japan calls the Northern Territories.

"It would be naive to think that it can be solved quickly", Putin said after meeting Abe on the sidelines of the forum.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (C, rear) attends an award ceremony for the first race of the SCF Far East Tall Ships Regatta 2018 with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon after the plenary session of the fourth Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) held in Vladivostok in Russia's Far East, on September 12, 2018.

Suga also said Putin had not mentioned the proposal during a summit meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday.

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Soviet forces occupied the islands at the end of World War II, and the territorial dispute has prevented Moscow and Tokyo from formally ending hostilities in the war.

Putin also said he "was not joking" about his proposal.

Xi thanked the Russian staff at the center for helping Chinese children recuperate and encouraged the young people of the two countries to serve as the pillars of their countries and envoys of bilateral friendship and carry forward China-Russia friendship from generation to generation.

After Abe pressed Putin on the subject of a treaty and a solution to the decades-long dispute over a group of islands claimed by both countries, Putin said: "An idea has just come into my head". "Putin does not expect anything", Kunadze told Echo of Moscow radio station.

However Vladimir Putin's schedule for his visit to Vladivostok will not allow him to discuss his peace treaty initiative with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday, Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

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Still, a former Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Georgy Kunadze, felt this could be political posturing from Putin.

A Japanese government spokesman said the country's stance had not changed. Moscow has stated many times that Russia's sovereignty over the islands could not be questioned.

Russian Federation calls the islands the Kurils, while Japan calls them the Northern Territories.

In the past, Russian Federation and Japan have proposed initiating various joint economic projects on the disputed islands as a first step in resolving the conflict.

Lying near the Japanese island of Hokkaido, the territory was taken over by Red Army troops in the final days of World War II.

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