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Russian PM dismisses Japan island protests

07-06-2012 00:04 BJT

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says he is indifferent to Tokyo’s irritation at his trip to the Southern Kurils islands. Medvedev spoke after his Tuesday visit to Kunashir Island. The visit sparked an angry response from Tokyo and a new round of diplomatic spats between the two sides.

Dmitry Medvedev, Russian Prime Minister, said, "The reaction of our Japanese partner is so insignificant to me that I don’t even want to answer that question. It is unnecessary to discuss the presence of a Russian government leader in Russian territory."

Moscow and Tokyo have been at odds over four islands just north of Japan since the end of World War II. That’s when the Soviet Union seized the territory, including Etorofu, Kunashir, Shikotan and the Habomai islet group -- home to 17,000 residents.

Tensions between Russia and Japan mounted in November 2010 when then-President Medvedev became the first Russian leader to visit the disputed islets. Medvedev said Moscow considered the Far East region a priority for development and that government officials should visit the region more frequently.

Editor:Wang Chuhan |Source: CNTV.CN

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