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Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev acknowledged the need to resolve the dispute with Japan over the sovereignty of a group of islands off Hokkaido in a 1988 meeting, diplomatic records declassified Wednesday show.

Former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone elicited the response from Gorbachev when he was invited for talks in Moscow on July 22 of that year, according to the records that were labeled “top secret” and “urgent.”

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