President Boris Yeltsin yesterday canceled a planned trip to Tokyo which had been due to start next week, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official said.

The Foreign Ministry official spoke after a meeting of Mr. Yeltsin's Security Council discussed the trip.

Interfax news agency, quoting what it said were Japanese sources, said the visit had been put off until December. It made no mention of Yeltsin's trip to the South Korean capital Seoul, which he was due to visit on his way back to Russia from Tokyo.

In Tokyo, a Foreign Ministry official said he had heard the report but could not confirm it.

Yeltsin earlier abruptly cancelled a news conference on the trip, scheduled to take place on Sept. 13-16.

The Russian leader had been due to discuss a territorial dispute over four islands seized by Soviet troops at the end of World War II which Japan is demanding back.

Tokyo has refused to grant Russia large-scale financial aid until the problem is settled.

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