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The Japanese government has lodged a protest against Russia through diplomatic channels about its recent military drills on a chain of islands — including those disputed with Japan — Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Monday.

“Russia’s military expansion in the Northern Territories is unacceptable as it goes against our country’s position regarding those islands,” Matsuno told a news conference, referring to four islands seized from Japan by Soviet troops in the closing days of World War II.

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