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The Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday slammed the recent statements of Japan on the peace treaty with Russia as an attempt to stir up tensions around four disputed Pacific islands, reports Xinhua.
The ministry said it had summoned Japanese Ambassador Toyohisa Kozuki and told him it had drew attention to Tokyo’s recent remarks, in particular, those about the need to prepare the inhabitants for the transfer of the islands to Japan and about dropping a demand for compensation from Russia.
It accused the remarks of “grossly distorting the essence of the agreements between the leaders of Russia and Japan to accelerate the negotiation process” and “disorienting the public of both countries.”
“Such statements can only be interpreted as an attempt to artificially incite the atmosphere around the problem of a peace treaty and to force its own scenario of settlement on the other side,” the ministry said in a statement.
Russia and Japan have not signed a post-World War II peace treaty due to their rival claims to four Pacific islands, called the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan. The four islands used to belong to Japan, which were seized by the Soviet Union after the war and were incorporated into Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Tokyo maintains that Moscow illegally occupied the islands.
According to a joint declaration signed in 1956, Russia agreed to return two of the islands after a bilateral peace treaty is signed, while Japan refused to sign such an agreement, insisting on the return of all.