• JIJI, Kyodo

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The Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday criticized exhibits displayed at Japan’s National Museum of Territory and Sovereignty, which reopened last week.

Summoning a representative from the Japanese Embassy in Moscow, Russia conveyed the criticism about the exhibition of items related to four Russian-held islands off Hokkaido claimed by Japan.

The Russian side said that there is no room for argument about its sovereignty over the islands and that the exhibits in question contradict an agreement reached between the leaders of the two countries to create a positive atmosphere for bilateral relations.

The exhibition is evidence of Japan’s unwillingness to accept the results of World War II, the Russian side said.

The Japanese Embassy admitted having received a warning from Russia against the exhibition on what Tokyo calls the Northern Territories. Russia refers to the islands as the Southern Kurils.

Japan told the Russian side that the facility is intended to show materials related to Japan’s territory and sovereignty to help its citizens better understand Tokyo’s position over relevant issues, according to the embassy.

The disputed islands were seized from Japan by Soviet troops in the closing days of World War II. The territorial row has prevented Tokyo and Moscow from concluding a peace treaty to formally end their wartime hostilities.

South Korea and Taiwan also protested the reopening of the museum that displays items on the South Korea-controlled Takeshima islets in the Sea of Japan, called Dokdo in South Korea, and the Japanese-controlled Senkakus in the East China Sea, which are claimed by China and Taiwan, where they are called Diaoyu and Tiaoyutai, respectively.

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