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International relations

Japan asks Russia to reduce military activity on disputed islands

Tokyo's plan for advanced missile shield concerns Moscow

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, far left, was joined by -- right to left -- Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for their "two-plus-two" meeting in Moscow on July 31.   © Reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said on Tuesday that Tokyo had asked Russia to reduce its military activity on a disputed island chain in the Pacific after Moscow beefed up its forces there in response to what it sees as a potential threat.

The territorial dispute over the islands, known as the Kuriles in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan, is so acrimonious that Moscow and Tokyo have not yet signed a peace treaty to mark the end of World War Two.

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