Japan Protests Planned Russian Exercises near Disputed Isles

Japan has lodged two protests against Russia for planning naval exercises southeast of the disputed Kunashiri Island.

According to Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, they filed the protests before the weekend, just after Russia issued navigation warnings for their naval exercises Tuesday through March 1.

“Russia’s further armament of the four northern islands conflicts with Japan’s stance and is not acceptable. We have conveyed that we are closely following Russian military’s activities in areas around our country, including the Northern Territories,” said Matsuno.

Kunashiri has been part of the disputed Island chains north of Japan since they surrendered in August 1945. 

“It is truly regrettable that 76 years after the war, the Northern Territories issue remains unresolved and a peace treaty has not been signed by Japan and Russia,” said Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. 

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