Russia denounces Japan’s sovereignty claim over disputed islands

October 13, 2021 By 0 Comments

The Kremlin has denounced a claim by Japan’s new prime minister that Japan’s sovereignty extends to a chain of islands disputed by Tokyo and Moscow.

While Moscow regards the archipelago that separates the Sea of Okhotsk and Pacific Ocean as its own, Tokyo says its four southernmost islands belong to Japan.

The disputed islands of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai lie at their closest point just a few kilometres off the north coast of Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands.

Addressing Japan’s Parliament on Tuesday, PM Fumio Kishida laid claim to the four, which are known by Tokyo as the Northern Territories.

“Our country’s sovereignty covers the Northern Territories,” Russia’s Tass news agency quoted Kishida as saying.

“We must solve this issue and not leave it to future generations. The government intends to sign a peace treaty with Russia, resolving the issue of these islands’ sovereignty,” Kishida said. His remarks drew swift censure from Moscow.