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Japan for the first time in 19 years called the South Kuriles “illegally occupied” by Russia. This became known on April 22 after the presentation by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the annual report at a government meeting.
This wording is contained in the “Blue Book of Diplomacy”, designed to document important milestones in the country’s foreign policy. Every year on April 22, the document is presented by the head of the Japanese Foreign Ministry at a cabinet meeting.
“For the first time in 19 years, we have clearly stated that the northern territories were illegally occupied by Russia, and we have clearly indicated our tough position,” NHK quoted the document as saying.
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, in the preface to the document, described what is happening in the world as an era of competition between China and America and interstate competition. It replaced, in his opinion, the times when the United States belonged to the role of the state, based on the political and military power of which lay “global stability and prosperity.”