12 Feb '11, 1pm

Kremlin sees Japan island talks 'losing meaning': Report - Straits Times

MOSCOW - A TOP Kremlin official on Saturday slammed Japan's recent statements on the disputed Kuril islands, telling the Japanese foreign minister that talks on the island chain were 'losing meaning'. The Russian president's chief of staff, Sergei Naryshkin harshly upbraided Japan's top diplomat, Seiji Maehara, over Tokyo's outraged reaction to a visit by President Dmitry Medvedev to the islands in November last year. Tokyo's position had 'led to a situation where continuing a discussion of the territorial problem is losing meaning,' Naryshkin was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency, citing the Kremlin press service. The Kurils, which lie just north of Japan's Hokkaido island, have been controlled by Moscow since they were seized by Soviet troops in 1945 but their status remains a major problem in Moscow-Tokyo relations. The dispute surrounds the southernmost f...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIS...

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