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Japan in uncharted waters over territorial dispute with Russia

Economic incentives are unlikely to persuade Putin to hand over the Kuril Islands

The dispute over the Kuril Islands, which Japan regards as its Northern Territories, is unlikely to be resolved unless Tokyo changes course in its approach to Russia.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- How Russia has settled territorial disputes in the past may not provide clues as to how it will handle four tiny islands claimed by Japan but occupied by Russia since the end of World War II.

Along the Amur River, which separates China on its northeastern border from Russia, lies the Chinese city of Heihe, home to a memorial that conveys the history of the Russian invasion during the Qing dynasty, the country's last imperial era that ended in 1912.

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