Japan's Abe says he shares same values as Russia's Putin

April 23, 2013 at 10:51 AM

TOKYO, April 23 (UPI) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday he shares the same values and ideals with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Abe told the Russian news agency ITAR-Tass he hopes to "establish a personal trust relationship" with President Putin during his upcoming visit to Russia April 28-30.

"President Putin has a clear-cut objective to build a strong and prosperous Russia," Abe said. "And my current objective is to build a strong Japan. Thus, President Putin and I share the same values and ideals."

Abe said he hopes to restart negotiations on a bilateral peace treaty.

Just days before his planned departure customs officials in the Kurill Islands confiscated several glossy booklets from a Japanese tourist.

The booklets contained maps showing the Kuril Islands as Japanese territory, RIA Novosti reported Tuesday.

The booklets were classified as "propaganda material" by Russian officials.

The Kurils, known in Japan as the Northern Territories, have been the subject of a territorial dispute between the two countries for more than a century.

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