Russia opposes Northern Territories exhibit

Russia has expressed opposition to a Japanese museum exhibit showing materials related to the Russian-controlled islands claimed by Japan. Japanese officials called for understanding, saying it is designed to enhance public awareness of Japan's territories.

The display on the Northern Territories was introduced at the National Museum of Territory and Sovereignty, a facility operated by the Cabinet Secretariat, when it recently reopened in Tokyo.

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

The Russian foreign ministry said on Tuesday that it summoned Japanese embassy staff in Moscow and lodged an opposition to the exhibition.

Russian officials said the exhibition is aimed at justifying Japan's claim of the islands, and runs counter to the efforts of the two countries' leaders to create a forward-looking relationship.

Japanese officials said that the display is designed for people in Japan to correctly understand the country's stance on the issue. They urged the Russian side for understanding on the matter.