Thu, November 04, 2010
World > Asia-Pacific > Kuril islands dispute between Russian and Japan

Japanese ambassador briefs senior officials on Medvedev's visit to disputed island

2010-11-04 02:43:24 GMT2010-11-04 10:43:24 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Japan's Ambassador to Russia Masaharu Kono (L) leaves the Foreign Ministry after briefed Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara and other senior government officials in Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 3, 2010. Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara(R) is interviewed by journalists in Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 3, 2010 (R). Japan's Ambassador to Russia Masaharu Kono returned to Tokyo earlier in the day as he was recalled by the government in protest against Russian President Medvedev's trip to Kunashiri Island, one of the islands off Hokkaido, known as the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russia. (Xinhua/Kyodo)

Japan's Ambassador to Russia Masaharu Kono arrives at Narita International Airport in Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 3, 2010. Kono returned to Tokyo earlier in the day as he was recalled by the government in protest against Russian President Medvedev's trip to Kunashiri Island, one of the islands off Hokkaido, known as the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russia. (Xinhua/Kyodo)

Japan's Ambassador to Russia Masaharu Kono arrives at Narita International airport in Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 3, 2010. Kono returned to Tokyo earlier in the day as he was recalled by the government in protest against Russian President Medvedev's trip to Kunashiri Island, one of the islands off Hokkaido, known as the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russia. (Xinhua/Kyodo)

TOKYO, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Ambassador to Russia Masaharu Kono on Wednesday briefed Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara and other senior government officials on Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to a disputed island held by Russian but claimed by Japan.

Kono returned to Tokyo earlier in the day as he was recalled by the government in protest against Medvedev's trip to Kunashiri Island, one of the islands off Hokkaido, known as the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russia.

After their meeting, Maehara told reporters that Kono gave information about the background and aims of the president's visit and Russia's domestic conditions.

Warning Russian leaders against follow-up visits to the disputed islands, Maehara reiterated Japan's stance on the issue.

"The four islands are traditional Japanese territory," he said, adding his hope that the Russian side will take it seriously.

At a press conference Tuesday, Maehara announced the decision to recall the envoy temporarily. It was a further step taken by Japan to protest the visit of Medvedev, who became the first leader from Russia or the former Soviet Union to set foot on the disputed islands.

On Monday, Maehara summoned Russian ambassador to Japan Mikhail Bely to lodge a protest shortly after Medvedev landed on the island.

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