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    RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY REJECTS NEWS OF TOKYO'S ALLEGED PREPARATION OF A NEW TERRITORIAL ADJUSTMENT WITH RUSSIA

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 4. /RIA NOVOSTI / -- Russia and Japan have serious border-delimitation differences, Alexander Yakovenko, official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, has said.

    He rejected the media reports on the Japanese government's alleged preparation of a new version of settling the territorial dispute with Russia. Under it, say the media, Russia retains the largest and strategically important Iturup island, while the three others - Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai - will go back to Japan.

    "The proposals intending a change in the sides' principled approaches, concrete settlement schemes have not reached the negotiating table", Yakovenko stressed.

    "Guided by the present top-level agreements, including those sealed in the 2003 Plan of Actions, the sides are going to continue the search for a mutually acceptable decision", said the diplomat.

    Alexander Yakovenko voiced confidence that such a decision can only be found in conditions of a comprehensive development of contacts between the two countries and the deepening of mutual trust.

    "We firmly proceed from such a decision taking into account the national interest of the Russian Federation, getting the parliamentary approval and public support in both the countries", the official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry has said.

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