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Over 50% of Russians: 4 islands belong to Russia

More than half the respondents in a Russian opinion poll said the four Russian-controlled islands claimed by Japan belong to Russia, while more than 40 percent said the countries should negotiate an agreement.


The Japanese Foreign Ministry commissioned research agencies to carry out opinion polls in various countries, including Russia. In the Russian poll, conducted by telephone in February, 3,600 people aged between 18 and 69 responded.


The respondents were asked whether they knew that Japan and Russia have not concluded a peace treaty even though more than 70 years have passed since the end of World War Two.


Fifty-nine percent said they knew this, while 41 percent said they did not.


Asked about their views on the issue of Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan, and the Habomai islands, 53 percent said they belong to Russia and will also belong to the country in the future. 41 percent said the countries should reach a mutual agreement. Two percent said they should belong to Japan.


The Japanese government maintains that the islands are an inherent part of Japan’s territory. It says the islands were illegally occupied after World War Two.


In another telephone opinion poll in the United States in January, 1,036 people aged 18 or older responded.


About Japan-US ties since US President Donald Trump took office, 28 percent said they have worsened, 23 percent said they have improved, and 21 percent said they have not changed.


On which country is the most important partner of the United States, 31 percent pointed to Japan, followed by China at 19 percent and South Korea at 10 percent.

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