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The article examines the current state of Russian-Japanese political relations since December 2012 until September 2017. Four months after taking office, SAbe officially visited Russia, denoting the Russian direction as priority in its foreign policy. The sides agreed to resume talks on concluding a peace treaty. In 2013, the international situation contributed to the Russian-Japanese rapprochement, but by early 2014 the situation had changed. AfterJapan joined the sanctions against Russia, the bilateral dialogue was severely damaged. In order to force the deadlocked negotiations, S.Abe proposed a «new approach» and a program of economic interaction. The Russian side agreed to resume negotiations, but in the statements of the officials the problem of the peace treaty was clearly separated from the territorial issue. During President V.Putin's visit to Japan, the sides agreed begin to consult on joint economic activities in the southern Kuril Islands. The idea of joint economic activity is not new - it has been repeatedly discussed to a greater or lesser extent, but it has been unclaimed because of a lack of consensus on the issue of the legal framework. The article notes dynamics and problems of the development of bilateral relations in this period. According to the author the main problems are differences in the views and interests of the both sides. The author believes that the accumulated dynamics in Russian-Japanese relations will continue in the near future, but in the long term this will not lead to progress in bilateral relations.
Russia, Japan, Kurile islands, personal diplomacy, peace treaty, joint economic activity
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