"Today I would like to hold with Deputy Morgulov fruitful talks that will help push forward the current progress in negotiations", said Chikahito Harada,  Japanese vice minister and envoy on Russian-Japanese bilateral issues, Ukraine Today reported.

The islands were seized at the end of World War Two by the Soviet army. At the time, about 17,000 Japanese resided there. Today, the population is estimated to be 14,000 Russians.

See unian.info’s video section for more of the latest news from Ukraine in video from Ukraine Today, Ukraine’s 24-hour English-language news channel.