• Kyodo

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Russian deputy foreign minister Aleksandr Losyukov indicated Wednesday that his country was prepared to discuss the protracted territorial dispute with Japan based on the joint declaration of 1956, in which Japan and the then Soviet Union clearly agreed that two of the four disputed islands would be returned.

His remarks, made during an interview with Kyodo News, were taken by observers to indicate that Moscow is keen on resolving the decades-old row through an agreement to return two of the four islands: Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan, and the Habomai islets.

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