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Ivanov Visits Disputed Isle

Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov on Sunday rapped the state of infrastructure on one of the Pacific islands contested by Moscow and Tokyo since World War II.

Ivanov, who said he had visited the islands twice in the past, criticized the poor state of the airport, roads and living conditions on Iturup, the Russian name for the northernmost island in the chain known as the southern Kurils by Russia and the Northern Territories by Japan.

"Since my first visit here, I've been very disappointed with the social and economic situation on the islands," he said. "If we call things by their right names, there is a complete lack of any kind of quality of life here."

A Japanese Foreign Ministry official has called Ivanov's latest visit unacceptable.

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