Moscow accuses Tokyo of ‘distorting’ information and ‘whipping up tension’ in Kuril Islands dispute

While Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vows to end a territorial dispute with Russia over a group of islands in the Pacific as soon as possible, Moscow says Tokyo is ‘distorting’ information on the talks to push its agenda. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono is in Moscow to discuss, with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, a peace agreement between the two countries and the fate of the Kuril Islands – an archipelago located in the Pacific between Japan’s Hokkaido island and Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula. The isles have been a subject of a simmering territorial dispute between the two neighbors for decades, but their fate was back in headlines after Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed in November to intensify talks about a peace treaty. Moscow and Tokyo ended their World War II engagement without a formal peace treaty and that situation has not changed since, because of Tokyo’s long-standing claims to four Russian Kuril Islands, referred to in Japan as the ‘Northern…

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