Cartridge sent to Russian Embassy in Tokyo

Tokyo, Feb 9 (Kyodo) A rifle bullet cartridge in anenvelope has apparently been sent to the Russian Embassy here,even as a bilateral row between Russia and Japan over thesovereignty of four Russian-held islands off Hokkaidocontinues, police said.

The embassy notified the police on Monday about receivingthe envelope, which also contained a note reading, "TheNorthern Territories are Japanese," they said yesterday.

Monday was the government-designated "Northern TerritoriesDay."

The police said the postmark on the white envelopebearing no name of sender suggests the envelope was droppedinto a postbox in Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo.

The envelope was received after leaders of Japan andRussia exchanged criticism in the wake of Russian PresidentDmitry Medvedev and other top Russian officials visiting thedisputed area off the northernmost main island despite Japan''sprotests.

Japan has designated February 7 as Northern TerritoriesDay because on the same date in 1855, Japan and Russiaconcluded a treaty in which they confirmed the islands ofEtorofu, Kunashiri and Shikotan and the Habomai islet group asbeing Japanese territory.

But the Soviet Union seized the islands after Japan''ssurrender in World War II. The territorial dispute hasprevented the two countries from signing a postwar peacetreaty. (Kyodo)

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