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Russia Plans Spas on Disputed Isles

Published: July 13, 2012 | 2:03 pm
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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev disclosed plans on July 11 to build sports and health complexes on Kunashiri and Shikotan, two of the Russian-held islands off Hokkaido that Japan wants returned, the Interfax news agency reported.

Since Medvedev visited Kunashiri on July 3, the Russian government has indicated it plans to build fish farms on Kunashiri as well as Etorofu, another of the disputed islands, to improve the lives of islanders.

Medvedev’s latest plan to increase investment in Shikotan is certain to draw a harsh reaction from Tokyo because under a 1956 bilateral joint declaration, Shikotan is supposed to be returned to Japan after the two countries conclude a peace treaty to formally end World War II.

Kunashiri, Etorofu, Shikotan and the Habomai islets were seized by the Soviet Union after Japan’s surrender on Aug. 15, 1945, at the end of World War II.

Source: The Japan Times


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