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Russia summons Japan envoy over Tokyo’s comments on disputed island row 

Moscow, January 10

Russia summoned Japan’s ambassador in Moscow on Wednesday to complain about comments made by the leadership in Tokyo on the bid to resolve a decades-old dispute with Moscow over a chain of islands, the Russian foreign ministry said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is making a push towards a treaty with Russia over the islands, and is due to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin this month, but Moscow has shown no willingness to concede control over the islands.

Russia and Japan have been in dispute for seven decades over island territories captured by Soviet troops in the last days of World War Two.

Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement issued late on Wednesday it had called in Japan’s envoy to complain about comments made by Japan about the need to reach an understanding with Russians living on the islands about their transfer to Japanese control. The ministry in a statement also protested comments it said that Tokyo had made about Moscow refusing to pay compensation to Japan for “occupying” the islands.

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