VLADIVOSTOK, RUSSIA – A new airport started operating on Etorofu Island — one of four Russian-held, Japanese-claimed islands off Hokkaido — as a special plane carrying Russian officials arrived Wednesday, Russian residents said.
A ceremony to mark the opening of the airport in the suburbs of Kurilsk is expected to be held this month with key officials in attendance, the residents said — a move that could trigger objections from the Japanese government, which may view it as Russia tightening its control over the island.
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