• Kyodo, Jiji

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Tokyo has returned to a hard-line stance in its decadeslong territorial dispute with Moscow following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, stating in its annual foreign policy report released Friday that four northern islands are "illegally occupied" by Russia.

The wording on the status of the islands, off Hokkaido, used in the 2022 Diplomatic Bluebook appeared for the first time since the 2003 report, highlighting Tokyo's departure from a conciliatory approach toward Moscow.

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