ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed that the two countries should follow a judo-style principle in dealing with the long-standing island dispute, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Thursday.
Putin believed a peace treaty between Moscow and Tokyo could finally be reached only following the judo principle of hikiwake, which means "no winner, no loser," said Peskov.
Putin and Abe talked briefly but intensely about the peace treaty issue during a meeting on the sidelines of the Group of Twenty (G20) summit here, according to the spokesperson.
"Both sides expressed an understanding that the solution to the problem of the peace treaty can only be based on the principle that there are no winners or losers," he said.
Russia and Japan are in dispute over four small islands called the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan. The dispute has blocked the two countries signing a peace treaty since the end of the World War II.
Following an April meeting in Moscow between Putin and Abe, the two sides pledged to speed up talks on concluding the peace treaty.
Putin, as a senior judoist, is "quite familiar" with this notion, Peskov said. The Thursday meeting was the third between the two leaders this year, and they would meet again soon on the margins of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting to further discuss the peace treaty, he added.
Besides the peace treaty, the two sides talked about economic cooperation, Japanese investment in Russia, among other issues of bilateral interests, said the spokesperson.