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Mikhail Zadornov thinks that it is too early to speak about the transfer of two Russian islands to Japan

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The head of the Deputies' Group of the State Duma for Relations with the Parliament of Japan, Mikhail Zadornov (the Yabloko faction), thinks that today the situation over territorial disputes between Russia and Japan is "very clear and simple".

On Monday 14 2001 Zadornov held a meeting in the State Duma with the delegation of the deputies' Association for Japan-Russian Friendship, which held during the day a number of meetings with the leaders of factions and Chairman of the Duma Gennadi Seleznyov.

In an interview with journalists, Zadornov expressed his opinion that all the main positions on so-called territorial issues have been already defined, from the Declaration of 1956 ratified by the parliaments of both countries to the joint Statement made by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and the Prime Minister of Japan Yosiro Mori in Irkutsk in March 2001.

Zadornov stressed that the Declaration of 1956 stipulates the possible transfer of two Kuriles Islands (Habomai and Shikotan) to Japan side, but only after the signing of a peace treaty (Ed. A peace treaty was never signed between the USSR and Japan on the end of the Second World War). Zadornov also noted that today the main thing is "to conduct dialogue to work out the essential provisions of this treaty." He added: "Any talks about definite steps and the terms of the transfer of the islands before elaboration of the mechanism of the treaty would be premature."

According to Zadornov, the traditional topics of Russian-Japanese inter-parliamentary cooperation are issues connected with preparation of the peace treaty, economic issues, as well as the problems of developing the Far East, its security and fishing problems.

The Duma Group for Relations with the Parliament of Japan comprises 85 deputies.

Based on Interfax reports.

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