Japan urges Russia not to hold military drills around disputed islands
Japan urged Russia to exclude areas around disputed northern islands from military drills Moscow is planning to conduct in the country's Far East from late August, a Japanese government spokesperson said on Thursday.
Japan lays claim to the Russian-held southern Kuril islands that Tokyo calls the Northern Territories, a territorial row that dates back to the end of World War Two when Soviet troops seized them from Japan.
"We lodged a firm representation that the Northern Territories should be excluded from the areas for the drills," Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki told a regular news conference.
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