YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, Russia -- About 1,000 people demonstrated in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in Russia's Far East against Japan's claims on the Kurile Islands, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.
Japan considers four islands of the Kurile archipelago -- Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan, and Hamobai -- as Japanese territories.
According to Russian-Japanese Treaty on Trade and Border of 1855, the four islands belonged to Japan.
The islands came under the Soviet Union’s and then Russia’s jurisdiction in 1945 following Russia's declaration of war on Japan in the closing days of World War II.
Earlier this month Japan's parliament, the Diet, adopted a law on increasing efforts to claim the islands back from Russia.
The Russian Foreign Ministry officially announced that the four islands could not be given to Japan and Russia owns them legally due to the results of World War II.