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I have read that Russia and Japan, which had been fighting long before World War I, are still at war, at least technically, since they did not sign a peace treaty at the conclusion of World War II.

So, the question is, why have Russia and Japan not signed a peace treaty?

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    Where did you read that? Citations are very useful in unraveling historical puzzles – Mark C. Wallace Oct 1 '15 at 12:12
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The reason is an unresolved territorial dispute over four islets, annexed by the Red Army during the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation. In Russia the dispute is known as the Kuril Islands dispute, and in Japan as the Northern Territories dispute.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have recently restarted negotiations to end the dispute:

The two leaders agreed it was "abnormal" their countries had not signed a peace treaty 67 years after the end of World War II, according to a joint declaration adopted in the Kremlin on Monday.

They expressed determination to overcome "the existing differences" on the islands dispute through talks, the declaration said.

"We have instructed our foreign ministries to step up contacts on working out mutually acceptable options" for an end to the dispute, Putin said after talks with Abe.

Source: Russia and Japan vow to solve islands dispute, Al Jazeera

Further reading:

  • Yannis, then, why have I got another downvote? – user2237 Jun 30 '13 at 21:57
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    @Carlo_R. If you hover over the downvote arrow, a tooltip will appear. It says: "This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful (click again to undo)". Your question does not show any research effort, I guess that's what the downvote is for. – yannis Jun 30 '13 at 22:00
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Here is a short text to read: San Francisco Treaty etc

Soviet (Russian) position since then was, at first, a general objection to Japan being used as a base for US operations in the region; and then an impossibility to resolve the Kuril Islands issue. Nowadays it seems next to impossible to resolve, seeing as how both countries cannot afford to lose face.

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