Wed, November 03, 2010
World > Asia-Pacific > Kuril islands dispute between Russian and Japan

Japanese ambassador to Russia returns home

2010-11-03 06:48:28 GMT2010-11-03 14:48:28 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

TOKYO, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Ambassador to Russia Masaharu Kono returned to Tokyo Wednesday after he was recalled in protest against Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to a disputed island held by Russia and also claimed by Japan.

Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara announced the decision Tuesday to recall the envoy temporarily.

Meanwhile, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku said that the government intends to gather the latest information concerning the Russian president's trip to the disputed island, and the government has yet to decide how long Kono will stay in Japan.

The move came one day after Maehara summoned Russian ambassador to Japan Mikhail Bely to lodge strong protest against Medvedev's visit to Kunashiri Island.

Medvedev became the first Russian leader on Monday to set foot on one of the four disputed islands north of Hokkaido, known as the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russia.

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