- Gov. Rick Perry: ‘It’s not a dare, it’s a promise’; Texas will fight BLM
- Howard Dean cheers Obama’s approach to Russian aggression
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s childhood nickname? ‘The Surprise’
- Democrat Grimes backs Keystone XL pipeline in Kentucky Senate race
- China spends for 17 new warships as U.S. cuts back military
- In Japan, Obama plays soccer with a robot and warns students of climate change
- FDA proposes ban on e-cigarette sales to minors
- Wyoming gas plant explosion sends entire town fleeing
- Aborted fetuses from British Columbia incinerated in Oregon plant to make electricity
- Motolotov cocktail thrown a Brooklyn mini-mart
Russia’s Medvedev rankles Japanese with visit to disputed Pacific islands
MOSCOW — In a visit that left Japan seething, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev traveled Tuesday to a disputed Pacific island and pledged to boost financing for four impoverished islands whose ownership has been disputed by Tokyo since World War II.
The dispute for nearly seven decades has prevented Moscow and Tokyo from signing a peace treaty to formally end their hostilities.
Surrounded by rich fishing waters, the islands are thought to have offshore hydrocarbon reserves, and gold and silver deposits.
The Russian government said Mr. Medvedev arrived at Kunashir Island on Tuesday with a group of officials. In 2010, he became the first Russian president to visit the chain, which Japan calls the Northern Territories.
During a meeting with local officials, Mr. Medvedev pledged to allocate more government funding for the construction of fisheries and roads on the islands.
“Our easternmost region cannot be the most deprived one,” Mr. Medvedev said in televised remarks.
Since the 1991 Soviet collapse, the island chain has suffered neglect, and its population has plummeted. Many remaining residents took up poaching of fish and crustaceans that then are sold illegally to Japan, South Korea and China.
Japan protested the visit.
“Medvedev’s visit to Kunashir pours cold water on our relations,” Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying Tuesday.
Japan claims the Soviet troops took control of the islands illegally, and has consistently called for their return as a precondition for fully improved ties.
Russia’s foreign minister dismissed the criticism.
“We have to move toward a peace treaty, but not through renewed protests - whether reasonable or not,” said Sergey Lavrov.
Russia in 2005 suggested it would cede two of the islands if Japan gave up its claim to the other two, but Japan rejected the idea. The islands lie as close as six miles from Japan’s Hokkaido island, but are also near an undisputed Russian territory.
TWT Video Picks
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- Obama avoids 'red line' for China, prepared to impose tougher sanctions on Russia
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- In the company of a saint: Catholic Church will canonize Pope John Paul and Pope John XXIII
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- In its hunt for Senate, Republican candidates campaign against Harry Reid
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Washington Redskins' 2014 schedule opens with Texans
- NAPOLITANO: A legal way to kill?
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014