Russia says Japan distorting Nov. accord

Jiji Press MOSCOW (Jiji Press) — Russia on Wednesday protested that Japan is distorting the essence of an agreement between the two countries’ leaders in November to accelerate their territorial talks.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov summoned Japanese Ambassador Toyohisa Kozuki to lodge the protest. Morgulov said that Moscow is paying close attention to recent remarks by the Japanese leadership about the talks, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Those Japanese remarks are grossly distorting the essence of the agreement and misleading the two countries’ general public, Morgulov said.

The protest came after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a New Year’s press conference on Friday that it is necessary to gain understanding from Russian residents on the northern territories for a possible change of ownership of the islands, currently controlled by Russia.

The Japanese remarks mentioned by Morgulov also include those suggesting that this year could see a turning point in the Tokyo-Moscow negotiations to resolve the territorial row and conclude a long-delayed World War II peace treaty.

The Russian official also cited Japanese media reports that Tokyo has decided to abandon its right to claim compensation related to the islands, which were seized by then Soviet troops in the closing days of the war.

Morgulov criticized these developments in Japan as distorting the essence of the November accord between Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin to kick-start the bilateral negotiations by referring to the 1956 Japan-Soviet joint declaration.Speech

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