Japan reiterated on Thursday that it will only sign a peace treaty with Russia if it returns the disputed Kuril Islands, the BBC Russian Service reported. The four islands, which lie off Japan\'s northern-most island of Hokkaido, were seized by Soviet troops at the end of World War II. The dispute over the islands - which Russia calls the southern Kurils and Japan the Northern Territories - has stopped the two countries from signing a treaty to end the war. Speaking in parliament on Thursday, Japanese Parime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Tokyo wanted all four islands returned and would not accept a Russian offer to return part of the islands but not all. Last week, Japan dropped the provocative wording, \"illegal occupation,\" for the long-running dispute, and agreed to refer to the islands as being \"occupied without legal grounds\" by Russia. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sparked a diplomatic row with Tokyo in November 2010 by making the first ever visit by a Russian leader to the Kuril islands. He later said Russia would increase its military presence there. Japan’s then prime minister Naoto Kan called Medvedev’s visit an \"inexcusable rudeness.\"