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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kurils Return Possible

TOKYO -- Russia has conceded the validity of a 1956 joint declaration with Japan calling for the return of two of four disputed northern islands, Japanese media reported Monday.

Quoting Russian Foreign Ministry sources in Moscow, the daily Yomiuri Shimbun and Kyodo news agency said a senior ministry official has drawn up official documents admitting the validity of the declaration and submitted them to a member of the lower chamber of the Russian parliament.

The 1956 declaration states that Moscow would return the Habomai group of islets and Shikotan Island, north of Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island, to Japan on condition that the actual transfer take place after the signing of a bilateral peace treaty.