• Kyodo News

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As leaders of the Group of Eight economies gathered in Italy on Wednesday to discuss global issues, Japan was hoping to seek progress on bilateral concerns, especially the decades-old territorial dispute between it and Russia.

But a significant breakthrough is unlikely during any meeting between Prime Minister Taro Aso and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, with Japan already offering what some Foreign Ministry officials are calling “excuses” that could lead Moscow to take a tougher stance.

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