TOKYO, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Japan and Russia on Monday agreed to continue cooperation in a number of areas including defense, with both sides eyeing future economic collaborations.
The pledge was made during a dialogue between Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
The two sides also confirmed a summit between their leaders in Russia late next month.
The meeting also focused on bilateral negotiations to conclude a post-World War II peace treaty.
"We agreed to discuss closely with a view to produce results on the bilateral negotiations to conclude a post-World War II peace treaty," Japan's foreign minister was quoted by local media as saying.
Japan and Russia both claim a group of islands off Japan's northern prefecture of Hokkaido, called the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russia.
The decades-old territorial spat has prevented the two countries from signing a post-World War II peace treaty and hindered diplomatic and trade relations between the two countries.
While the latest round of talks also brought up some issues of contention regarding the deployment of missile defense systems in the region, both parties, while agreeing the next round of talks will be held in Moscow, agreed to cooperate further in areas of defense exchanges.
Such exchanges are to include those related to search and rescue operations, they concurred.