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Toshimitsu Motegi, state minister for Okinawa and Northern Territories affairs, expressed his intention Friday to visit a group of Russian-held islands off Hokkaido that are claimed by Japan.

“It has not been decided at this time,” he said. “If the schedule allows, I would like to consider the timing” of the visit. If the trip comes off, Motegi will be the fifth Cabinet member to visit the disputed islands while in office.

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