Asahi front-paged a report on remarks made by Russian President Putin on Thursday in St. Petersburg, during which he expressed concern that in theory it would be possible for the U.S. to establish bases on the four islands of the Northern Territories if they were returned to Japan. Putin made the remarks during a joint interview with major wire service agencies around the world. This was the first time for the president to openly express concern over the possibility of U.S. military deployment on the islands. The paper wrote that the Russian leader expressed the view that it would be difficult for Moscow to return the islets to Japan under the circumstances in which the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty could be applied to the Northern Territories. Most other papers ran similar inside-page reports.