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Japan mulls response as Russian prime minister eyes visit to disputed islands

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Medvedev in a grocery store on Kunashiri, one of the disputed islands, in 2012.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan may retaliate by delaying a trip by its foreign minister should Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visit disputed islands in the Kuril archipelago as speculated, setting the stage for a diplomatic tit-for-tat over a territorial dispute.

     Medvedev expressed on July 23 an intention to visit the islands, which are under Russian control but partly claimed by Japan. He did not mention the timing or other specifics. But Russian news outlet Kommersant reports that he is considering attending an Aug. 12-24 event on Etorofu.

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