08:40 GMT +319 January 2020
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    The Japanese government decided to postpone the visit of Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida to Russia after Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev landed in the Kuril Islands, Kyodo news agency reported Saturday. Kishida was expected to come to Russia in late August or early September.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, Medvedev arrived for a working visit on the Iturup Island, one of the four Kuril Islands.

    "At least at this point, this is not a situation where Japan and Russia can continue engaging in high-level dialogue," the source was quoted by Kyodo as saying.

    Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida conveyed a formal protest to Russian Ambassador to Tokyo Evgeny Afanasiev over Prime Minister Medvedev's visit to the Kurils, Kyodo news agency said.

    The Kuril Islands, located in the Sea of Okhotsk, have long been subject to a dispute between Russia and Japan since the sides failed to sign a permanent peace treaty following the end of World War II.

    The four islands — Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai — have been administered by Russia since the end of WWII, but the Japanese government still lays claim to them.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly said that by insisting on the unfounded claims on the four Kuril Islands Japan "demonstrates its blatant disregard for the commonly-accepted outcome of the Second World War."


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