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Japan minister for northern territories visits Russia's Kuril Islands

September 20, 2013, 19:02 UTC+3

Program included a visit to local administration, kindergarten and regional natural history museum in Yuzhno-Kurilsk

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Photo ITAR-TASS/ Vladimir Sergeev

Photo ITAR-TASS/ Vladimir Sergeev

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, September 20 (Itar-Tass) - Japanese Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs Ichita Yamamoto left on Friday the Russian island of Kunashir for Itirup, which is also one of the Kuril Islands.

The minister and the delegation accompanying him spend a whole day in Kunashir. The trip is made within the framework of visa-free trips between Russia and Japan. The director of the Kuril-Japanese centre, Gennady Novokhatnii, told Tass that the minister had in no way differentiated himself from the group. “He behaved very modestly, did not make any provocative statements and did not ask questions,” he said.

“It was Yamamoto’s first trip to Kunashir. By the way, as he himself noted, none of the ministers for northern territories affairs had visited the Kuril Islands over the recent ten years”. According to Yamamoto, “the main task of the visit is to see the lands of which he is the minister”.

The program of the Japanese delegation’s visit was busy - a visit to the local administration, to a kindergarten and a regional natural history museum in Yuzhno-Kurilsk. Also the delegation visited an old cemetery.

Then the delegation headed for a cultural centre, where a kimono fashion show was organized for local residents. Ichita Yamamoto himself was wearing warrior garment to the joy of the audience. Then a festive lunch was organized at the House of Russian-Japanese Friendship after which the guests headed for the port where the Etopirika motor ship was waiting for them.

On Saturday morning, the Japanese delegation will arrive in Iturup, where the guests will spend two days. During the trip, the Japanese minister also plans to meet with local authorities, local population and also visit graves of ancestors.

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