Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said that Tokyo believes that its sovereignty extends to the southern part of the Kuril Islands, TASS reports.
“Our sovereignty extends to the four northern islands. We intend to continue persistent negotiations on the basis of our basic position, which is the desire to sign a peace treaty after the resolution of the territorial issue,” he said.
In December, Japan protested to Russia over the December 16 firing practice near Kunashir Island, stating that it was contrary to the Japanese position.
The dispute over the territorial ownership of the four southern Kuril Islands has not subsided between Moscow and Tokyo since the Second World War. Japan disputes their belonging to the Russian Federation, referring to the bilateral Treatise on Trade and Borders of 1855. In Russia, they believe that the islands of the Kuril chain became part of the USSR after the war and sovereignty over them is beyond doubt.