| 14 April 2024, Sunday |

Japan to protest Russian PM Mikhail Mishustin’s visit to disputed Pacific islands

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin’s visit to one of four Japanese islands held by Russia, will soon be protested by Tokyo, said a top Japan government spokesman on Monday.

At the end of World War II, the Soviets seized the islands. The territorial row over them has strained relations between the two countries for years. It has also prevented the two sides from signing a formal peace treaty.

Touring Russia’s Far East and Siberia this week, Mishustin made the first stop at Kuril Islands. The Russian government is looking to set up a special economic zone in the area.

During the visit, Mishustin visited a hospital and a fish plant on Iturup. It is one of the four southernmost Kuril islands. The prime minister said plant workers that the government is considering creating a special economic zone on the islands, where businesses and investors would be free of most taxes and customs duties.

“The measures Russian officials are currently pondering could be a good solution for investors, including the ones in the West, for Japan also, which, if interested, can create jobs here,” Mishustin said.