The Kremlin says Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may visit Moscow in May to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wednesday "such a possibility is being considered."

Abe has sought to make progress in a dispute over islands called the southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan. The dispute has kept the two countries from signing a peace treaty ending their World War II hostilities.

Japanese media have reported a possible visit, but there has been no confirmation from either side.

Japan's former foreign minister was in Moscow in January and gave the Russian foreign minister an envelope which he said contained a personal message from Abe to Putin. The contents were not disclosed.