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Japan has likely lost the Northern Territories for a generation because of its participation in sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine war.

Tokyo did the right thing; nevertheless, this is unfortunate. Japan’s claim to the islands is strong. Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seemed to be nudging Russian President Vladimir Putin to some manner of negotiated solution. But this is likely over now. And in the wake of the recent revelations of Russian war crimes, the sanctions on Russia will tighten.

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