04 Feb '11, 5pm

Japan protests Russian defence chief's Kurils visit: TOKYO - Japan protested against a visit by the Russian defe...

Japan protests Russian defence chief's Kurils visit: TOKYO - Japan protested against a visit by the Russian defe...

TOKYO - Japan protested against a visit by the Russian defence minister on Friday to a disputed island chain, warning that the move threatened to sour already uneasy ties. Prime Minister Naoto Kan said of Anatoly Serdyukov's trip to the southern Kuril islands: "It is extremely regrettable. We have firmly conveyed our resolve on the matter through the foreign ministry." Japan's Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara summoned Russian Ambassador Mikhail Bely over the visit hours earlier to the islands, which are claimed by both countries. It comes after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last year sparked a major diplomatic crisis with Japan when he became the first leader from Moscow to visit one of the disputed islands. The Kurils, which lie north of Japan's Hokkaido island, have been controlled by Moscow since they were seized by Soviet troops in 1945 but their status is a major pr...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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