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International relations

Ukraine crisis roils waters for Japan's bid to reclaim islands from Russia

Kishida vows to continue talks, while new U.S. envoy calls Moscow 'aggressor'

An aerial view shows Kunashiri, one of the Russian-control islands known as the Northern Territories in Japan.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- Tensions over Ukraine have thrown up another obstacle to Japan's decades-long pursuit of a return of islands under Russian control, even as Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida vows to continue a dialogue with Moscow, observers say.

"I will carry on the discussions started by our countries' leaders in 2018," Kishida said Monday during a rally in Tokyo. The annual event demanded Russia return the islands, known as the Northern Territories in Japan, occupied by Soviet forces in the waning days of World War II.

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