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February may be the shortest month of the year, but it never fails to pack in plenty of discourse on Japan’s territorial disputes. Every year, central government representatives participate in Northern Territories Day on Feb. 7, usually seeing the prime minister offer a keynote address promising to resolve the long-standing dispute with Russia.

Next week, Shimane Prefecture will celebrate the relatively young Takeshima Day, which will invariably invite protest from the South Korean government that controls the islands it knows as “Dokdo.” All the while, media outlets continue to report on Chinese vessels maintaining their long streak of operations in the waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands.

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