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Japanese official says his Kuril statement not 'anti-Russian'

© RIA Novosti . Sergei Krasnoukhov / Go to the photo bankKuril Islands
Kuril Islands - Sputnik International
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Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said his Saturday's statement on the Kuril Islands, which Moscow called 'ambiguous,' was not aimed against Russia.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said his Saturday's statement on the Kuril Islands, which Moscow called 'ambiguous,' was not aimed against Russia.

During an inspection of the disputed islands from the air on Saturday, Edano spoke out in favor of talks with Russia but said "Japan's claims for the Northern Territories could have been much louder if only the people of Japan realized how close to them the islands are."

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Moscow expected Tokyo to "overcome this ambiguity" and "make a staunch final choice in favor of a calm, non-preconditioned, free from ostentatious PR campaigns and reciprocal historical references, discussion on the problem of the peace treaty."

Commenting on his Saturday's statement, Edano said: "There is nothing in what I have said or done that could cause a negative reaction."

Japanese officials conduct regular inspections of the Kuril Islands. In late December, Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara carried out his inspection by air and through binoculars from Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido.

Tokyo's continued claim over four South Kuril Islands (Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan, and Habomai) to the northeast of Japan has so far prevented Russia and Japan from signing a formal peace treaty to end World War II hostilities.

TOKYO, February 20 (RIA Novosti) 

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