TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Japan described 4 disputed islands as “illegally occupied” by Russia for the primary time in almost 20 years on Friday as ties bitter between the international locations over the warfare in Ukraine.
The 2 nations have lengthy been engaged in makes an attempt to agree a post-World Battle II treaty, however the islands held by Moscow and claimed by Tokyo stay a key sticking level.
Japan’s international ministry final used the expression in its annual coverage report in 2003 to explain the islands, which Moscow calls the Kurils and Tokyo the Northern Territories.
This yr’s Diplomatic Bluebook report comes at a time when powerful sanctions are imposed on Russia by Japan and its G7 companions, and forward of a key revision to Japan’s nationwide safety technique later this yr.
“The best concern between Japan and Russia is the Northern Territories,” it mentioned, calling them “Japanese territories over which Japan holds sovereign rights, however are at the moment illegally occupied by Russia”.
Comparable language had been utilized in earlier years however with out the “illegally occupied” phrase.
The ministry additionally mentioned the Ukraine disaster would stall its treaty talks with Russia.
Moscow mentioned it might drop the talks final month, citing the “impossibility” of constant discussions “with a rustic that has taken an brazenly hostile place and is striving to trigger hurt to the curiosity of our nation”.
Friday’s report took a cautious tone on China, though Japan has beforehand expressed concern about Beijing’s growing maritime actions within the area.
“It is very important construct a constructive and steady Japan-China relationship,” it mentioned, whereas reiterating concern over Beijing’s “makes an attempt to vary the established order by drive within the East and South China Seas”.
© Agence France-Presse
Leave a Reply