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  Monday, September 21, 2020
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First consultations on a visa-free regime for Russia's Kuril Islands and Japanese citizens are currently underway on Sakhalin Island
First consultations on a visa-free regime for Russia's Kuril Islands and Japanese citizens are currently underway on Sakhalin Island, regional officials said Thursday. The groundbreaking talks are being held behind closed doors in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the center of Sakhalin Region. The sides will discuss reinstating visa-free trips to Hokkaido, probationary tours for doctors, lawyers, and cultural workers, as well as sports exchanges and visits by Japanese citizens to burial sites in the South Kuril Islands. The four South Kuril Islands, annexed to the Soviet Union at the end of World War II, have been the subject of an ongoing dispute between Russia and Japan that has prevented the two countries from signing a peace treaty to formally end their WWII hostilities.
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