• Kyodo

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Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev on Sunday canceled his planned trip to the Russian-controlled, Japan-claimed island of Shikotan off Hokkaido, several sources at the Far Eastern Sakhalin region said.

Trutnev flew to Kunashiri Island, another of four disputed islands off Hokkaido, from Sakhalin Sunday morning. Later in the day, he was scheduled to travel to Shikotan aboard a helicopter to inspect a new hospital there, according to the sources.

The visit to Shikotan is believed to have been aborted due to bad weather. It remains unknown whether Trutnev, who also serves as head of the Russian Far Eastern district, will travel to the island on Monday or later.

Soviet forces seized four islands — Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan and the Habomai islet group — following Japan’s surrender in World War II in 1945.

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