Japan, Russia talk peace

President Boris Yeltsin of Russia and the Japanese Prime Minister, Ryutaro Hashimoto, winding up informal talks, pledged yesterday to seal a peace treaty by 2000.

A territorial dispute has for decades blocked the signing of a treaty formally ending Second World War hostilities but the leaders said their talks in Krasnoyarsk heralded a new era of co-operation. Mr Hashimoto said the negotiations would be based on the 1993 Tokyo Declaration, which called for resolution of the dispute based on international law and justice. On Saturday the two men unveiled a plan comprising initiatives to boost Japanese investment in Russia and co-operation in trade, energy, transport and training. - Reuters