Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has maintained that four islands central to a territorial dispute with Russia are an inherent part of Japan’s territory. The islands lie northeast of Japan and off Russia’s eastern coast. Abe’s remarks came amid proposals that Tokyo should initially push for the return of two of the four islands from Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to visit Japan in December, during which time Abe hopes to make a breakthrough in the ongoing row.
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