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November 12, 2010 (KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI) — Despite the recent diplomatic spat between Moscow and Tokyo, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will meet with the Japanese premier during the forthcoming APEC summit, Medvedev’s spokeswoman confirmed on Friday.
The Russian leader is to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit to be held on November 13-14 in Yokohama. Kan said last week he was not sure if the meeting with Medvedev would go ahead.
“The Japanese side traditionally raises the issue of the Kuril Islands at such meetings. Russia’s position remains unchanged,” Natalya Timakova said.
A long-standing territorial dispute between Moscow and Tokyo over the Kuril Islands, called the Northern Territories by Japan, was aggravated by a recent visit by Medvedev to one of the islands. Tokyo has described the visit, the first trip by a Russian president to the disputed islands, as “regrettable,” while Moscow argued it is up to the Russian authorities to decide on their trips inside the country.
Following the row sparked by Medvedev’s visit, Japan temporarily recalled its ambassador from Russia. The ambassador was to return to Moscow on Sunday as the Japanese government decided to refrain from further actions of protest.
SEOUL, November 12 (RIA Novosti)