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International relations

Word choice reveals perception gap in Japan-Russia dispute

'Transfer' vs. 'return' of islands raises questions over sovereignty

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on Nov. 14 to work toward a post-World War II peace treaty based on a 1956 Japan-USSR joint declaration.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan and Russia have agreed on a starting point for negotiations on a long-standing territorial dispute, but the differing terms each side uses to talk about the issue makes clear that they are not quite on the same page.

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