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Japan's ex FM to visit disputed Russian-held islands

08-06-2011 14:26 BJT

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Former Japanese Foreign Minister, Seiji Maehara, is expected to arrive on Saturday at Etoro-fu Island. It's one of four Russian-held islands claimed by Japan off Hokkaido.

The visit will make Maehara the first senior Japanese politician to set foot on the island after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited the island last year.

Sources close to Maehara say the visit is aimed at studying local business infrastructure. Maehara and his 50-member delegation will visit seafood precessing facilities, as well as local homes during the four-day trip.

Before leaving Japan, Maehara told local media that as a parliament member, he was intent on resolving a decades-old territorial dispute between Japan and Russia.

The disputed islands are called the Southern Kurils by the Russians and the Northern Territories by the Japanese. They were seized by the Soviet Union following Japan's surrender in World War Two.

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CNTV.CN

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