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Japan-Russia territorial negotiations in question over Ukraine

May 09, 2014, 18:58 UTC+3 TOKYO
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TOKYO, May 09. /ITAR-TASS/. Japan “does not plan to hold territorial talks with Russia at a deputy foreign ministerial level unless the situation in Ukraine stabilizes”, Kyodo news agency said on Friday citing a senior Foreign Ministry official as saying.

“As the Group of Seven industrialized nations take coordinated policy toward Russia, it would be difficult for Japan to promote talks alone,” the official was quoted as saying, referring to bilateral negotiations over four disputed islands, located in Russia's Far East and claimed by Japan.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry has not confirmed these statements yet.

“We have not received this information,” the ministry said.

Last year in April, when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made an official visit to Moscow, Russia and Japan agreed to accelerate negotiations on a peace treaty between the two countries and decided to hold them at a deputy foreign ministerial level.

The latest round of negotiations involving Deputy Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama and his Russian counterpart Igor Morgulov took place in Tokyo on January 31.

The disputed Kuril islands, known by this name in Russia, are located in Russia's Far East, separating the Sea of Okhotsk from the North Pacific Ocean and known by Japan, which claims them as theirs.

Clashes over sovereignty date from the end of World War II.

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