TOKYO, August 22. /TASS/. Tokyo plans to consider postponing the visit of Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida to Russia amid Saturday’s trip of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to one of the Kuril Islands claimed by Japan, the Kyodo news agency has reported.
Kishida was expected to come to Russia in late August or early September.
"We consider that this (Medvedev’s visit) is simply unacceptable," the agency quoted a Japanese diplomat as saying. He stressed that this visit is more significant than the trips of other ministers.
"This move hurts the feelings of Japanese citizens who seek the return of these territories," the diplomat said.
The Japanese Foreign Ministry plans to voice its protest to the Russian side via diplomatic channels, the report says.
Russia’s embassy in Tokyo told TASS that there was a phone conversation on Saturday with the director general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s European Affairs Bureau, Hajime Hayashi. The embassy gave no further details on the conversation.
Medvedev arrived on Saturday in the Kuril Islands as part of his working trip to the country’s Far East. He is due to inspect the work of an airport on Iturup and visit a cultural and sports center, and the Reidovo fish processing plant.