Yeltsin visit

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The Independent Online
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TOKYO, Oct 1 (AFP) - The Japanese government officially announced Friday that Russian President Boris Yeltsin would make his first visit to Japan, but disclosed that the stay would be less than 48 hours, at Russian request.

And Foreign Minister Tsutomu Hata indicated he was pessimistic that the long-awaited visit would make any headway on the issue dogging Russian-Japanese relations -- the future of four small islands in the Kurile chain held by Moscow's troops since the end of World War II.

Yeltsin, initially scheduled to stay three days, will arrive on the evening of October 11 and leave on the afternoon of October 13.