MOSCOW, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev arrived at Kunashir islet in the Far East Tuesday on his second visit to the disputed Southern Kuril archipelago, sparking protests from Tokyo.
After arriving at Mendeleyevo airport on Kunashir by plane with other government officials, Medvedev visited a deep water dock and a fish-packing plant in Yuzhno-Kurilsk port, the administrative center of the Southern Kuril City District, local media reported.
The prime minister had earlier said he would visit national projects under construction on the islands and meet local people.
He said the visit was "extremely important" and the new government would continue the practice of visiting the Southern Kurils.
Medvedev's visit brought immediate action from Japan, which also claims sovereignty of the archipelago. Russian Ambassador to Japan Yevgeny Afanasyev was summoned to the Japanese Foreign Ministry to explain the visit, local media reported.
After Medvedev's plan was first announced, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said on June 25 the visit was contrary to Japan's stance and "unpleasant."
The Russian Foreign Ministry responded that the Southern Kuril islands were an inseparable part of Russia.
Moscow and Tokyo have been at odds over the four isles, which Japan calls the Northern Territories, since the end of World War II.
The disputed isles, known as Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan and the Habomai islet group in Japan, were seized by the Soviet Union following Japan's surrender in World War II.
Relations between Russia and Japan soured after then Russian President Medvedev visited Kunashir in November 2010, the first by a federal Russian leader.