07 Feb '11, 11am

Japan's PM led a large rally on Monday demanding the return of several islands held by Russia since the end of WWII.

TOKYO - JAPAN'S Prime Minister Naoto Kan led a large rally on Monday demanding the return of several islands held by Russia since the end of World War II and calling the recent visit there by Russia's president an outrage. The dispute over the southern Kuril islands, known in Japan as the Northern Territories, has long been a sticking point in relations between the two countries and has kept them from signing a formal peace treaty ending their World War II hostilities. Japan has designated Feb 7 as 'Northern Territories Day,' saying that a treaty dating back to that day in 1855 supports its claim to the islands. Kan was the top speaker at a government-backed rally of about 1,500 people in Tokyo that has been held annually since 1981 to mark the anniversary. He vowed that Japan will not back down from its claim and said visits there by Russian leaders are 'an unforgivable o...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STISt...

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