Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin have ended their 2-day summit. They say they've agreed to start talks on joint economic activities on 4 Russian-controlled islands claimed by Japan.
The territorial dispute has prevented the 2 countries from signing a peace treaty since World War Two. The leaders say the discussions could become an important step towards concluding a peace treaty.
They say any joint activities or deal on the activities will not infringe on their stances on the peace treaty issue.
The leaders also agreed on humanitarian grounds to consider allowing elderly former Japanese residents easier access to the islands. The residents want to visit their ancestors' graves.
Japan refers to the islands as the Northern Territories.
It maintains the islands are an inherent part of its territory, and were illegally occupied after World War Two.
Moscow says they became part of Russian territory as a result of the war.