• Kyodo, JIJI

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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Friday made his first visit since 2015 to one of the four Russian-held islands off Hokkaido that are claimed by Japan, despite a request from Tokyo to have the trip canceled, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency.

Medvedev traveled to Etorofu, which is called Iturup in Russia. The island is part of what Russia calls the Southern Kurils, which are known as the Northern Territories in Japan. Tokyo claims they were illegally seized by the Soviet Union following Japan’s surrender at the end of World War II.

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