Russian president Dmitri Medvedev has cancelled a planned trip to the disputed “Northern Territories”, but vows to make the trip again, soon.

The latest diplomatic crisis was sparked by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s tour of the easternmost section of his country and his comments that the four islands represent “a very important region in our country.”

The Russian leader was planning to travel to two of the islands until, it is said, weather conditions forced a change in his itinerary. Medvedev, however, has confirmed that he still plans to visit the islands “in the near future.”

These Russian moves provoked sharp words from hawkish Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara, who declared, “If the president goes ahead with his visit, it would create a major obstacle in Japan-Russia relations.” (Link)

Japan was unhappy with the planned trip to the islands, which it considers Japanese territory, and Medvedev’s references to the islands as a “very important region” of Russia.

Curious that Russia would play up the Kurils dispute so soon after the Japan – China confrontation over the East China Sea.

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A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 536 post(s) on Japan Security Watch