Mon, November 08, 2010
World > Europe > Kuril islands dispute between Russian and Japan

Japanese ambassador leaves Moscow amidst Kurils controversy

2010-11-02 09:42:56 GMT2010-11-02 17:42:56 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara speaks before press in Tokyo on November 2, 2010. Japan said November 2 it will recall its ambassador to Moscow, heightening a long-standing row with Russia over four remote Pacific islands following a visit there by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. (AFP)

MOSCOW, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Japan's ambassador to Russia Masaharu Kono is to leave for Tokyo shortly, Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday.

"The ambassador will return to Tokyo shortly to clear up all circumstances connected with the Russian president's trip to Kunashiri," the Japanese embassy spokesman Akira Imamura said.

He added that the date the ambassador's return to Moscow has not been set yet.

Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara recalled temporarily the Japanese ambassador to Moscow after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's trip on Monday to the Kunashiri island.

"I have made the decision to recall Ambassador Masahara Kono from Russia," Maehara said.

"This decision is another regrettable mistake made by Japan in its policy towards Russia," Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee commented.

Tokyo's decision to recall its ambassador from Russia will in no way change the position of Moscow over the Kurils, he said.

"As a matter of fact, such a radical step taken by Tokyo could not influence Russia's approach to this problem. Rather, it only hampers and delays the possibility of looking for compromises regarding the problem of the disputed territories," Kosachyov said.

Related:

Japan to recall ambassador to Russia temporarily

TOKYO, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Japan has decided to recall its ambassador to Russia temporarily, said Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara Tuesday.

At a press conference, Maehara said that Masaharu Kono, Japanese ambassador to Russia, will soon return and stay home for a while. Full story

Russian president visits Kuril Islands, vows to improve local living

MOSCOW, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Monday visited Kunashiri Island, one of the Russian-held islands also claimed by Japan, Russia's local media said.

Medvedev is the first leader from Russia or the former Soviet Union to travel to any of the disputed islands, which are called the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russia. Full story

Russian official refutes Japan's statement on Kuril Islands dispute

MOSCOW, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- The statement by Japan's new foreign minister saying that the Russian president's plan to visit the Kuril Islands will negatively affect Russian-Japanese relations is inappropriately tough, Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of Russian State Duma's international affairs committee said Wednesday.

"Such an inappropriate and tough statement by the Japanese foreign ministry is regrettable," Kosachyov was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying. Full story

U.S. backs Japan on islands dispute with Russia: State Department

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said on Monday that the United States backs Japan on its islands dispute with Russian.

"We do back Japan regarding the northern territories," Crowley told reporters when asked to comment on the issue.

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