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Japan issues protest to Russia over naming five islands of Kurile chain

Moscow [Russia]: Tokyo has issued a protest to Moscow after Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a resolution giving names to five previously nameless islands of the Kurile chain, also claimed by Japan.

“This is unacceptable and runs counter to Japan’s position. We sent a note of protest to Russia through diplomatic channels,” TASS quoted, Yoshihide Suga, the Secretary General of the cabinet as saying at a news conference in Tokyo

On Saturday, the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, signed a decree naming five small islands of the Kuril Islands.

Moscow and Tokyo have been holding, with shorter or longer intervals, the talks on elaborating a bilateral peace treaty. The problem of sovereignty over the southern part of the Kurile chain – the islands of Kunashir, Iturup, Shikotan and the Habomai archipelago – that went over to the USSR upon the end of World War II remains the biggest stumbling block to the signing of the treaty.

Tokyo does not recognize Russia’s sovereignty over the islands.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has said many a time in this connection there is no question about Russian sovereignty over the islands, which has an appropriate international legal groundwork. (ANI)