The top government spokesman also said Japan will not change its position of seeking to resolve the issue of the islands' sovereignty, before concluding the peace treaty with Russian Federation.
Fresh from his pancake diplomacy date with China's President Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin served up the main dish on Wednesday - a possible breakthrough in Russian-Japanese relations.
At the heart of the dispute, which dates back to the end of World War II, are the four southernmost islands in the Kuril chain.
China's Global Times newspaper said China and Russian Federation could "create a vital influence" when the two countries worked together.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (C, rear) attends an award ceremony for the first race of the SCF Far East Tall Ships Regatta 2018 with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon after the plenary session of the fourth Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) held in Vladivostok in Russia's Far East, on September 12, 2018.
Shinzo Abe confirmed Wednesday his plans to visit China this year in what would be the first trip to the country by a Japanese prime minister since 2011, the latest sign of warmer ties between the two rivals.
After Abe pressed Putin on the subject of a treaty and a solution to the decades-long dispute over a group of islands claimed by both countries, Putin said: "An idea has just come into my head".
"Both countries are trying to signal: If the United States pushes too far, we are going to move closer to each other", Alexander Gabuev, chairman of the Russian Federation in the Asia-Pacific Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center think tank, told the Washington Post.
On Monday, Mr Putin seemed to pour cold water on suggestions that the dispute could be resolved soon.
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Abe went on to say the meeting stopped North Korea from launching missiles over Japan and sent the country on the path toward denuclearization.
But some diplomats said the proposal was a non-starter. "It is called trolling".
In Moscow, Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov told Russian news agencies that Putin's announcement would not require any changes to the current format of negotiations.
He also suggested that Abe would never accept a deal that would be "political suicide".
The proposal means that resolving the bilateral issue on the northern territories would effectively be put aside and a conclusion of the peace treaty would happen first.
The two countries have launched various economic projects on the islands in areas such as the farming of fish and shellfish, wind-generated energy, and tourism.
Since past year, the countries have also agreed on charter flights for Japanese former island inhabitants to visit family graves there.
Russian Federation and Japan did not sign a formal peace treaty after the end of WWII in 1945, and the absence of an agreement has strained relations ever since.
Abe praised his meeting with Xi, saying they held "highly significant talks regarding Japan-China relations and the various issues that we face together".