Sep. 6 (EUROPA PRESS) –
Russian authorities have canceled an existing agreement with Japan that allowed former Japanese residents of the Kuril Islands to visit the archipelago without the need to present a visa, prompting protests from Tokyo.
Russia published on Monday an official document signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin specifying its unilateral withdrawal from the aforementioned agreement in what is considered Moscow’s response to the sanctions imposed by Tokyo on the Eurasian nation within the framework of the Ukraine war.
The agreement between the two countries also specified that the residents of the islands, claimed by Japan but of Russian sovereignty, were also exempt from visas to travel to Japan, as the Japanese news agency Kyodo recalls.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has called the decision “unacceptable”, while Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi has warned that Moscow has not yet officially informed Tokyo of the measure.
The Kuril archipelago, located between the Japanese island of Hokkaido and the Russian peninsula of Kamchatka, is made up of a group of islands occupied by Soviet troops in World War II.
In fact, the dispute over the sovereignty of the Kuriles, known in Japan as the Northern Territories, has prevented Moscow and Tokyo from signing a post-war peace treaty.