Top gov't spokesman says Japanese envoy's return to Moscow undecided

13:20, November 04, 2010      

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Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku said Thursday that the government has yet to decide when Masaharu Kono, Japanese ambassador to Russia, will return to Moscow.

At a press conference, the top government spokesman made the remarks in response to a question as to whether Kono will return to Moscow before the APEC summit opens in mid-November in Yokohama.

The Japanese envoy returned to Tokyo Wednesday to brief top government officials, including Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara, on Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's recent visit to a disputed island held by Russian but claimed by Japan.

Kono was recalled Tuesday by the government in protest against Medvedev's trip to Kunashiri Island, one of the islands off Hokkaido, known as the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russia. It was a further step taken by Japan to protest the visit of Medvedev, who became the first leader from Russia or the former Soviet Union to set foot on the disputed islands.

On Monday, Maehara summoned Russian Ambassador to Japan Mikhail Bely to lodge a protest shortly after Medvedev landed on the island.

Source: Xinhua


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