"We believe that such actions are illegal. Such actions clearly do not benefit the creation of [a proper] atmosphere, but I can definitely say that they poison it... I can tell you, they are definitely not for the benefit of bilateral relations, and it seems to me that they are unlikely to benefit Tokyo itself", Zakharova said.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay Route Map on the event's website appears to include Russia's Southern Kurils as part of the Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido.
Tokyo lays claim to four islands along the Greater Kuril Ridge stretching between Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula in the north to the Japanese northern island of Hokkaido in the south.
Russia stresses the islands became part of the country after World War II, and Russian sovereignty over them is not up for discussion. The dispute over the islands has been the central reason for the lack of a post-WWII peace treaty between the two countries.