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Japan confirms its foreign minister’s visit to Russia

September 19, 2015, 8:39 UTC+3 TOKYO
The problem of the southern Kuril Islands is the key obstacle to a complete normalization of the Russian-Japanese ties and the signing of a peace treaty
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TOKYO, September 19. /TASS/. Japan’s Foreign Ministry has officially confirmed that the working visit of its head Fumio Kishida to Russia will start September 20.

The ministry said Kishida is to meet with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov during the visit. It added that Kishida plans to touch upon the issue of "solution to the problem of the Northern Territories" (the way Japan calls Russia’s Southern Kuril Islands).

The problem of the southern Kuril Islands is the key obstacle to a complete normalization of the Russian-Japanese ties and the signing of a peace treaty. After the Second World War, all Kuril Islands were made part of the Soviet Union. But Japan does not agree that the islands of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and the Habomai island group belong to Russia. Tokyo calls the islands "Northern Territories".

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