Tokyo: Russian Ambassador to Japan Mikhail Galuzin has been summoned by the Japanese Foreign Ministry to express protest over Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin’s visit to the island of Iturup, the Kyodo news agency reports.
Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Mori Takeo summoned Galuzin on Monday, Kyodo said citing foreign ministry sources, after Mishustin arrived on the island of Iturup.
Earlier in the day, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told reporters that Japan planned to lodge a protest over Mishustin’s “regrettable” visit to the island of Iturup.
Moscow-Tokyo relations have long been complicated by the fact that they never signed a permanent peace treaty following World War II. Japan claims the Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai islands in Russia’s Kuril Island chain, which they refer to as the “Northern Territories” (Russia refers to them as the Southern Kurils). Russia insists that its sovereignty over the islands, which became part of the USSR after WWII, is undisputed.