Japan Revives Strong Rhetoric on Territorial Row with Russia

Politics

Tokyo, March 8 (Jiji Press)--Four islands at the center of a Japan-Russia territorial row are being illegally occupied by Russia, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Tuesday.

Hayashi told a news conference that the Japanese government's position is that the islands, known as the Northern Territories in Japan, are under "Russian occupation without legal grounds."

On Monday, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told a parliamentary committee meeting that the disputed islands are "inherent territories of our country" and that Japan has sovereignty over them.

The use of such strong terms had been avoided by the administration of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in the hope of advancing Japan-Russia negotiations to resolve the long-standing territorial issue and conclude a World War II peace treaty.

However, the negotiations are now highly likely to come to a deadlock following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press