Putin asked for a phone conversation with Abe, and the 2 leaders spoke for about 20 minutes on Friday.
Abe said developing his nation’s ties with Russia is a top priority. He said the relationship had the potential to become one of Japan’s richest.
The Japanese leader also said he welcomes Putin’s statement that Russia will hold a constructive dialogue with Japan on their territorial dispute.
Abe called the dispute the biggest pending issue. He said he would like to make efforts to find a mutually acceptable solution.
Putin said both countries’ foreign ministries should be instructed to work more actively towards a peace treaty.
Japan claims sovereignty over a group of 4 northern Pacific islands seized by Soviet forces shortly after Japan’…