Japan-Russia row escalates over disputed Kurils islands

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Japan and Russia have exchanged heated comments over the disputed southern Kuril islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Japan's PM Naoto Kan called a visit by Russia's president to the islands last year an "unforgivable outrage".

Mr Kan was speaking during a rally in Tokyo held to demand the return of the islands, which were occupied by Soviet troops at the end of World War II.

Russian FM Sergei Lavrov responded by saying that Mr Kan's remarks were "clearly undiplomatic".

The dispute over the islands, which lie north of Hokkaido and are known as the Northern Territories in Japan, has stopped Japan and Russia from signing a peace treaty....

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