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(Update) Japan Kishida Resolved to Ink Peace Pact with Russia

(Update) Japan Kishida Resolved to Ink Peace Pact with Russia

   Tokyo, Feb. 7 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday underlined a determination to conclude a peace treaty with Russia after resolving a territorial row over the four northwestern Pacific islands claimed by Japan.
   "Although Japan-Russia relations are in a difficult situation due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, we will stick to our policy of resolving the territorial issue and concluding a peace treaty," Kishida said at a government-sponsored rally in Tokyo campaigning for the return of the islands to Japan, which took place on Northern Territories Day.
   The Northern Territories refer to the disputed Russian-held islands, seized from Japan by Soviet troops in the closing days of World War II.
   Given the aging of former Japanese residents of the islands, Kishida said his government will put a special focus on a resumption of a program to allow them to visit family graves on the islands.
   "We have confirmed that the framework for visiting graves in the Northern Territories has been maintained," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi told a news conference. But he added that Japan has "not received a positive response from the Russian side" that would lead to a resumption of the visits.

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