Tokyo to recall Japan's ambassador to Russia

2nd November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Japan said Tuesday it will recall its ambassador to Russia following President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to the Kuril Islands, which are at the source of a long-running row between the two nations.

"I decided to recall ambassador to Russia (Masaharu) Kono temporarily," Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara told reporters.

Maehara said he wanted to get more information from the ambassador following Medvedev's visit to a disputed islet in the Kuril Islands on Monday, which was condemned by Tokyo as "very regrettable".

Russia's ambassador to Japan was summoned by Tokyo on Monday in protest.

The Kuril Islands, which lie north of Japan's Hokkaido island, have been controlled by Moscow since they were seized by Soviet troops at the end of World War II, but Tokyo claims the southernmost four as Japanese territory.

The dispute is another headache for Prime Minister Naoto Kan, whose government has for weeks been embroiled in Japan's worst diplomatic spat for years with China, over disputed islets in the East China Sea.

Voter support for Kan's government dropped by 31 points in October from the previous month in the wake of the row, according to an opinion poll by the business daily Nikkei.


© 2010 AFP

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