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    Russia 'Perplexed' by Japan’s Reaction to Kuril-Related Statements - Source

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    The long-lasting Kuril Islands dispute provokes new tensions in Russian-Japanese diplomatic relations as Japan 'regret in connection' with a Russian Deputy Foreign Minister statement causing 'perplexed' reaction of Russia.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) – Russia was perplexed by Japan’s reaction to recent statements by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov on the Kuril Islands issue, a source in the Russian Embassy in Japan told RIA Novosti on Saturday.

    Morgulov said on Thursday that the issue of the disputed Kuril Islands was settled in 1945 and ruled out the possibility of there being any dialogue with Tokyo on the issue.

    On Friday, reports appeared that Hajime Hayashi, director-general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s European Affairs Bureau, registered a protest with Russian Ambassador to Japan Evgeny Afanasiev over Morgulov’s statements.

    "The Japanese side did not express protest, but regret in connection with the statements. In our turn, we were perplexed by the Japanese reaction. Everything that deputy foreign minister Morgulov said is our official position and should be well-known to the Japanese side," a source in the Russian Embassy in Japan told RIA Novosti on Saturday.

    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. All of the Kurils have been administered by Russia since the end of WWII, but the Japanese government still lays claim to Iturup and three other islands.


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