Japan, Russia Follow Up Ministerial Territorial Talks

Politics

Moscow, Jan. 15 (Jiji Press)--Vice-ministerial officials from Japan and Russia held a meeting in Moscow on Tuesday, the day after their foreign ministers failed to narrow gaps on the two countries' territorial row over four Russian-held islands.

The follow-up talks came after Monday's meeting between Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, and before a summit between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin set for Jan. 22.

"We provided supplementary explanations and threw questions to each other about points that the ministers had heated discussions on," Japanese Senior Deputy Foreign Minister Takeo Mori told reporters after his meeting with his Russian counterpart, Igor Morgulov.

Mori also said he clarified Japan's position where necessary to counter Russia's claims.

While Japan takes the position that the islands were illegally seized by Soviet troops at the end of World War II, the Russian side insisted at the ministerial meeting that it legitimately acquired the islands as a result of the war.

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Jiji Press