Russian Foreign Ministry summons Japanese Ambassador over Kuril Islands

The Ambassador of Japan in Russia, Touchesa Kazuki, was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry where Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov informed him of the inadmissibility Tokyo’s criticism over the actions of Russia in the Kuril Islands, says Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Earlier, Tokyo criticized the visit of the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to the Kuril Islands and protested because of the military drills at Kunashir Island. On August 2 , Dmitry Medvedev visited the island of Iturup. During the trip, the Acting Governor of Sakhalin Region Valery Limarenko suggested that the Russian Prime Minister should consider the possibility of eliminating taxes on the Kuriles. Medvedev called this proposal compelling.

Comments of the Japanese side "are an attempt to interfere in the Internal Affairs of Russia," said the Russian Foreign Ministry to the Japanese Ambassador. Morgulov noted that the Kuril Islands became a sovereign territory of Russia after the Second World War.

Ambassador Kazuki was also handed a note of protest over the violations committed by the Japanese when forming  visa-free travel groups fro visits in the Kuril Islands. “Tokyo worked on the formation of such groups without keeping all the formalities,” reads the message of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Japan and Russia have been in dispute over the ownership of the Kuril Islands for a long time. This issue began after the Second World War and the signing of a peace treaty between the two countries. In 1945, Soviet troops occupied four South Kuril Islands: Kunashir, Iturup, Shikotan, and Habomai. However, in 1951, the Soviet delegation did not sign the San Francisco Peace Treaty, which legally enshrined the results of the war with Japan. Because of this, the peace Treaty does not give USSR sovereignty over the Kuriles.

  Russia, Japan, Kuril Islands