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Japan's PM Abe (l) has been pleading for a new approach to the island dispute in which he would host Putin (r) in a hot springs resort (Photo: kremlin.ru)

Crude World

Shinzo Abe's hot-tub diplomacy

From 15-16 December Russian president Vladimir Putin will visit Japan. High on the agenda are talks with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe on the status of the Kuril Islands, a group of islands annexed by the Soviet Union in the dying days of World War II.

Both Japan and Russia claim sovereignty over the islands and the dispute has prevented both countries from signing a peace treaty marking the end of the war.

In the run-up to the summit Abe has been pleading for a new approac...

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The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s, not those of EUobserver
Japan's PM Abe (l) has been pleading for a new approach to the island dispute in which he would host Putin (r) in a hot springs resort (Photo: kremlin.ru)

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