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MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. Russian government members will continue making trips to the Kuril Islands and Moscow has no plans to take account of the Japanese authorities' position on the issue, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
"Unacceptable comments from Japan on the trips by Russian government officials to the Southern Kuril Islands have come again recently," the ministry said in a comment. "We would like to recall we do not plan taking account of the Japanese government members' opinions as we arrange the itineraries for members of the government. These trips, including the one that government officials make as part of a federal program for social and economic development of the Kuril Islands (the Sakhalin region), will continue."
"We are compelled to state that the Japanese side is again demonstrating overtly its negligence of the commonly recognized results of World War II as ti multiplies publicly its ungrounded claims to the Southern Kuril Islands," the comment said. "Such actions look particularly deplorable on the background of the forthcoming 70th anniversary since the end of World War II."
The Southern Kuril Islands consist of three islands and a small archipelago located in the southwestern extremity of the Kuril chain of islands. They include the islands of Kunashir, Iturup, Shikotan and the Habomai archipelago.
Japan claims they are part and parcel of the country's primordial lands, referring to them as the 'Northern Territories'. Differences in interpretation of the status of these islands explains for the absence of a formal peace treaty between Russia and Japan even seventy years after the end of World War II.