Russian deputy foreign minister Grigory Karasin, just back from talks in Japan, said on October 8 that Moscow will continue its gradual withdrawal of troops from the disputed Kuril Islands. There are currently 3,500 troops on the islands, he said, excluding border forces personnel not included in the draw-down. Karasin also announced that a top-level military delegation will travel to Tokyo in December to prepare for a visit early next year by Defense Minister Igor Rodionov. (Interfax, October 8)
… As Tokyo Insists Border Issue Remains Unresolved.