Putin: Russia, Japan could solve 70-year territorial dispute

Russian President Vladimir Putin says that there is a "chance" to resolve a 70-year territorial dispute with Japan during an upcoming visit to Asian country.

Moscow and Tokyo have never formally signed a treaty ending World War II because of a dispute over the ownership of the Kuril Islands north of Japan.

Putin told Japanese journalists that it's difficult for him to say how big the chance is "because it depends on factors including the flexibility of our partners," according to an interview transcript published by the Kremlin on Tuesday.

But Putin, who arrives in Japan on Thursday, said that Moscow was happy with the status quo.

Putin said that "we think that we have no territorial problems. It's Japan that thinks that is has a territorial problem with Russia."