Japan-Russia talks bring no progress on island dispute
News On Japan via Reuters -- Jul 29
Russia and Japan sparred on Saturday over disputed islands that have strained their relations since World War Two, making no visible progress in talks toward a resolution weeks before Russia hosts a summit of Asian states.
Japan wants Russia to hand over four islands at the southern end of the Kuril chain that were occupied by Soviet forces at the end of the war in 1945, saying they are Japanese territory.
Moscow disagrees, and senior Russian officials have drawn protests from Japan in the past two years by traveling to the Pacific islands, which Russia calls the Southern Kurils and Japan calls the Northern Territories.
Tension over the issue was palpable beneath the diplomatic language at a joint news conference following talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Japanese counterpart, Koichiro Gemba, who was also to meet President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
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(Jiji Press )