Russia's relations with Japan over disputed Pacific Islands have not changed following Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.
Tokyo and Moscow have been involved in a decades-old dispute over islands north of Hokkaido, known as the Kurils in Russia and referred to as the Northern Territories in Japan.
"Our relations with Japan … concerning this territorial issue have not changed at all in connection with Crimea," Putin said during his annual televised call-in show.
Putin said he was ready to discuss the issue but blamed Japan for a lack of dialogue.
In line with the United States and the European Union, Japan imposed visa bans on a number of Russians after Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula last year.