• Japan, Russia to resume talks on disputed isles off Hokkaido next week

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    TOKYO: Tokyo and the Kremlin will on Wednesday resume negotiations on the decades-old territorial row over Russian-held islands off Hokkaido, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida has announced. Chikahito Harada, Japan’s special representative for Japan-Russia relations, and his counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov, will meet in Tokyo next week to discuss the longstanding territorial dispute over the islands, called the Northern Territories by Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russia. The two sides had agreed to resume talks when Kishida and Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov met in Tokyo in April. The two ministers had said negotiations would be held soon after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the southern Russian city of Sochi to meet with President Vladimir Putin in May. The meeting next week is also expected to lay the groundwork for a potential Putin visit to Japan.

    TNS

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