Hokkaido Gov. Asks Kishida to Continue Island Talks with Russia
Tokyo, June 2 (Jiji Press)--Hokkaido Governor Naomichi Suzuki asked the Japanese government on Thursday to continue its talks with Russia on the four Japan-claimed islands off the main island of Hokkaido.
The governor made the request at a meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, calling for the early return of the islands, collectively called the Northern Territories in Japan.
Such a request was made for the first time since Russia started invading Ukraine in late February and suspended the territorial talks in late March, in retaliation to Japan's sanctions over the Russian aggression.
While noting that there is no change in the government's stance of seeking the return of the islands, Kishida told the governor that it is "difficult to talk about the outlook (about the negotiations) in a specific way."
"Russia's invasion has shaken the international order and violates international law," the prime minister stressed. "We must issue a strict message in tandem with the international community."
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]