Japan Protests Russian Prime Minister's Island Visit
Tokyo, July 26 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Mori summoned the Russian ambassador to Japan on Monday to protest Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin's visit the same day to one of the four islands at the center of the two nations' long-standing territorial dispute.
Mori lodged a protest with Ambassador Mikhail Galuzin over the prime minister's visit to Etorofu.
Galuzin told reporters later that he cannot accept the protest in light of Russia's basic stance on the islands, which it calls the Southern Kurils.
The islands, called the Northern Territories in Japan, were seized from Japan by the former Soviet Union at the end of World War II. The territorial dispute has prevented Tokyo and Moscow from concluding a peace treaty to formally end their wartime hostilities.
In a statement released the same day, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said that he finds the visit extremely regrettable as it hurts the feelings of the Japanese people.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]