Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko and his Japanese counterpart, Takeo Fukuda, began on Monday (24 January) the first round of talks of Mr.
SV INT Gromyko welcomed by Japanese Foreign Minister Fukuda and other officials (2 shots)
SV Gromyko and Fukuda walk to conference room
SV INT Conference with Ministers and delegations seated
SV Gromyko and Fukuda shake hands across table (2 shots)
GV & SV Meeting (3 shots)
Initials BB/1344 JL/AS/BB/1320
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Background: Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko and his Japanese counterpart, Takeo Fukuda, began on Monday (24 January) the first round of talks of Mr. Gromyko's current visit to Japan. The two ministers discussed various preconditions to a peace treaty between the two countries.
The two man agreed that the Japanese and Soviet Prime Ministers would exchange visits on future dates to be fixed through diplomatic channels. But the Japanese Foreign Minister said there must be some progress towards the return of four Soviet-held islands off northern Japan, before the prime Ministers exchange visits. The Soviets occupied the four islands--Habomai, Shikotan, Kunashiri and Etorofu--at the end of World War Two, and the two countries are still technically in a state of war.
Mr. Gromyko, who arrived in Japan on Sunday (23 January) for a six-day visit, is due to have an audience with Emperor Hirohito on Tuesday and to meet prime Minister Eieaku Sato on Thursday.
SYNOPSIS: Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko was welcomed by his Japanese counterpart, Takeo Fukuda, in Tokyo on Monday, as the two man began their first round of talks during Mr. Gromyko's current visit to Japan. The two men held discussions for a total of five and a half hours.
At the centre of discussion were various preconditions to a peace treaty between the two countries.
The two Foreign Ministers agreed that the Prime Ministers of each country should exchange visits at a future date. But later Mr. Fukuda said that there must be some progress towards the return of four Soviet-held islands off the northern Japanese coast, before an exchange of visits could take place. Japan has already stated that the return of war-lost Habomai, Shikotan, Kunashiri and Etorofu islands is a precondition to conclusion of a peace treaty. In 1956 the Soviet Union said it would return two of the islands if and when a peace treaty was formulated, but later claimed the territorial issue had been closed under international pacts.