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Protesters detained outside Japanese embassy in Moscow

MOSCOW (AP) – A dozen protesters have been detained outside the Japanese embassy in the Russian capital ahead of talks between the country’s leaders at the Kremlin.

Left-wing activists were picketing the Japanese embassy Tuesday morning to protest what they describe as the Kremlin’s plans to return Pacific islands at the center of the territorial dispute with Japan.

Left-wing activist Sergei Udaltsov said Tuesday that 11 protesters were detained by police just hours before President Vladimir Putin is to host Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Moscow. The activists were upset by comments in Japan that suggested Moscow may be open to returning two out of the four islands in the Pacific Ocean to Japan.

Russian officials, however, publicly denied these reports.

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