MOSCOW, Sept 17 (Xinhua) -- Russia would work with the new Japanese Foreign Minister despite statements he made about the disputed Kuril Islands, Russian FM spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said Friday.
"This is an internal matter of any country to appoint the ministers. Since the new head of Japanese diplomacy has been appointed in accordance to that country's procedures, we will work with him," the RIA Novosti news agency quoted Nesterenko as saying.
Nesterenko offered to wait until the first meeting with Seidzi Maehara to learn about his position in detail.
Maehara, who started as foreign minister on Friday, spoke frequently about "Russian unlawful occupation" of four southern Kuril islands.
Japan does not recognize Moscow's right to the islands, which the Soviet army seized in the final days of World War II.