Japan made an explicit claim to ownership of a group of Russian-held islands off Hokkaido in an annual foreign policy report released Tuesday, after refraining from doing so last year amid hopes of breaking a deadlock in the territorial dispute.

The issue has prevented the two countries from signing a World War II peace treaty even 75 years after the end of the conflict.

In the 2020 edition of its Diplomatic Bluebook, the Foreign Ministry also pointed to the nation's heightened tensions with South Korea over trade controls and compensation for wartime labor, and condemned North Korea for continuing its ballistic missile tests in defiance of U.N. resolutions.