Posted 7 февраля 07:08
Published 7 февраля 07:08
Modified 7 февраля 07:19
Updated 7 февраля 07:19
"Our country, in close cooperation with the international community, starting with the members of the Group of Seven, is taking serious sanctions measures [against the Russian Federation]. Meanwhile, although relations between Japan and Russia are in a difficult state, we firmly adhere to the course of resolving the territorial issue and concluding a peace treaty," Hayashi said during a speech at the "National Rally for the Return of the Northern Territories" (quoted by TASS).
The National Rally for the Return of the Northern Territories is an annual event held on February 7. The northern territories mean the southern part of the Russian Kuril Islands. TASS also notes that for the first time since 2018, the term "illegal occupation" is present in the text of the final statement of the participants of the event.
"It is unacceptable that the four northern islands were illegally occupied by the Soviet Union 77 years ago and remain so today," the document says.
In March 2022, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced Moscow's withdrawal from the dialogue with Tokyo regarding the conclusion of a peace agreement. This decision was related to Japan's sanctions after the start of the special operation. In autumn, Russia also canceled the visa-free regime for visiting the Kuril Islands for Japanese.