World Briefs: Russian PM's island visit angers Tokyo

Dmitry Medvedev (left) visits a machine gun regiment on Iturup island, one of four islands in the chain that lies off Russia's far eastern coast and just north of Japan, on Aug 22, 2015.
Dmitry Medvedev (left) visits a machine gun regiment on Iturup island, one of four islands in the chain that lies off Russia's far eastern coast and just north of Japan, on Aug 22, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

Russian PM's island visit angers Tokyo

TOKYO/ITURUP • Japan has lodged a protest over Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's visit to one of four Pacific islands it also claims, and which have strained ties between the neighbours since the end of World War Two.

Tokyo and Moscow have been involved in a decades-old dispute over the islands north of Hokkaido, known in Russia as the Southern Kurils and called the Northern Territories in Japan.

After Mr Medvedev visited Iturup island yesterday, senior Japanese Foreign Ministry official Hajime Hayashi lodged the protest with the Russian ambassador to Japan.

REUTERS


Penang kids in a spot over N-Day theme

GEORGE TOWN • After weeks of practising for the National Day parade, thousands of Penang schoolchildren have been put in a tough spot.

The federal government has ordered the children not to take part as the state has chosen its own theme for its celebrations.

The state government's theme is Bersih, Cekap, Amanah (Clean, Efficient, Trustworthy) while the federal government's slogan is Sehati, Sejiwa (one heart, one soul).

Penang's choice is seen as supporting the Bersih 4 rally planned for Saturday and Sunday in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. Electoral reforms group Bersih has dared Prime Minister Najib Razak to let the rally take place to test his level of support.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 23, 2015, with the headline 'Russian PM's island visit angers Tokyo'. Print Edition | Subscribe