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Russia reacts favorably to subdued tone of Northern Territories Day rally

NTV reported online this morning that the fact that the appeal adopted at the end of the national Northern Territories Day rally on Feb. 7 attended by Prime Minister Abe avoided using the expression “Russia’s illegal occupation” of the islands attracted great attention in Russia. Russian state-run TV was quoted as reporting that “Prime Minister Abe avoided using harsh expressions in his speech,” while the state-owned news agency cited experts’ comments that “it is a good sign that Japan has stopped using overblown language.” NTV reported, however, that the Russian foreign ministry spokesperson did not refer to the fact that the term “illegal occupation” was not used. She was quoted as reiterating Russia’s position that “sovereignty over the islands must not be a topic of discussion.”

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