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China offers Russia cooperation on Japan disputes: Report

Published on Feb 6, 2014 3:36 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - Russia has rejected a Chinese offer to cooperate on their separate territorial rows with Japan, a report said on Thursday, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prepared to meet President Vladimir Putin in Sochi.

Beijing said it would support Moscow in its decades-old dispute over the sovereignty of islands to the north of Japan in exchange for backing in its row about the ownership of an East China Sea archipelago, the Mainichi Shimbun reported.

The offer has been made repeatedly since 2010, the paper said, citing diplomatic sources in Russia and Japan, but has always been brushed off.

The report came just ahead of Mr Abe's attendance at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics and a subsequent summit with Mr Putin, at which they are expected to discuss the Russia-controlled Southern Kurils, which Japan claims as the Northern Territories.

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