Moscow Says It Disagrees With Japan’s Sovereignty Claim Over Islands

The Kremlin said on Tuesday it disagreed with comments by new Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida that Japan’s sovereignty extended to a chain of islands known by Tokyo as the Northern Territories, and that they were in fact part of Russia.


We do not agree with such a statement, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call.

This is Russian territory, and Russia has repeatedly reaffirmed its political will on different levels to continue dialogue with Japan to find solutions to the sensitive issues that remain on the agenda, Mr. Peskov.

The territorial dispute over some of the islands, which are known at the Kurils in Russia, dates back to the time when the Soviet Union seized them at the end of World War Two. The dispute has prevented Russia and Japan from signing a formal peace treaty.

Russia also rejected American proposal regarding the diplomatic tensions.

Russia and the United States failed to make any major progress in a row over the functioning of their embassies at talks in Moscow on Tuesday and there is a risk that relations could worsen further, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

With ties already at post-Cold War lows, the two countries are in dispute over the workings of their diplomatic missions, including the number of diplomats they can post to each other’s capitals.

I cannot say that we have achieved great progress, Interfax news agency quoted Ryabkov as saying after the talks with U.S. Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. There is a risk of further sharpening of tensions.

There was no immediate comment from the U.S. side.

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