national

Elderly Japanese pine for return to 'lost' northern islands

33 Comments
By Miwa Suzuki

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2018 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


33 Comments
Login to comment

@expat

I always wondered what the fate of the Russian citizens living on the islands would be if they were returned... expulsion, special resident status, green cards...?

The standard international protocol is that they gain citizenship of new sovereign state.

But this is Japan we are talking about, and Japan stripped the migrants from Korea and Taiwan of their citizenship after the surrender. So Japan will probably settle for a permanent green card, the one that cannot be stripped.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think Japan would appreciate a generous gesture by Russia.

Russia has made a generous gesture to Japan and offered a peace treaty. Japan refused.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think Japan would appreciate a generous gesture by Russia.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I always wondered what the fate of the Russian citizens living on the islands would be if they were returned... expulsion, special resident status, green cards...?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

**** Russia !!..

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Many people in Japan do not seem to realise how lucky they are, in that Japan was not broken up after WW2.

yep, it could have become a North South Korea scenario, with the DMZ around Osaka area.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

This same scenario occurred all over Asia but with Japanese soldiers slaughtering every man women and child the encountered. I've never read of any instance where Japanese soldiers left without harming the family.

exactly, wherever Japanese soldiers went they just slaughtered people, of course most people in Japan would never beleive this due to many decades of brainwashing into the 'we were the victims' mentality.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Wishing for the return of the Kurils is like wishing for the return of Taiwan, Korea, Manchuria, Saipan, etc.

These territories were never a part of Japan prior to the founding of Imperial Japan, and their return to their respective owners is the natural end to the dissolution of Imperial Japan and end of WW2. They are never combining back.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Russia’s intransigence on the matter of the northern territories has a lot to do with not wanting to set a precedent that might embolden German irredentist claims to the Kaliningrad enclave and other swathes of territory carved out of the dying Reich.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I really think Russia should return all the islands to Japan. Using the same reasoning as Russia, the USA could actually own Okinawa. I'm so glad we didn't act like Russia, and properly returned Okinawa control to Japan in 1972. There are still bases there, but I think these bases in Okinawa are critical to help Japan's self defense. If Russia returned the islands, it would help Russia's international standing a lot!

8 ( +11 / -3 )

It may seem harsh to the former island residents but as a nation Japan took a calculated risk in it’s expansionist military actions during the 1930s~40s. That risk resulted in a massive defeat. There is little chance that Russia would voluntarily give up a strategic waterway to the Pacific ocean. Hirohito and the Showa Emperor the two primary wartime leaders of Japan at the time are to blame for this.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Many people in Japan do not seem to realise how lucky they are, in that Japan was not broken up after WW2.

Japan should be thanking the USA.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Pining for the fjords

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Japan officially abandoned the sovereignty about the bigger islands(Kunashiri and Etorofu).

But as for the smaller ones(Habomai and Shikotan), Japan still have a right to demand Russia to return it. Russia side does know it and they have ever talked with Japan side on the premise.

Some influential Japanese need to explain to the national that the option to get back all of the 4 islands does NOT exist and there are only 2 options left. Reclaiming pnly the smaller ones or abandon all of the islands.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

You wonder why America has stayed out of this dispute? Actually, its kind of a payback since the Japanese assembled its fleet to attack Pearl Harbor at Taikan Bay in the Kurils. The site was chosen since it was very foggy that time of year and would give the fleet a semblance of cover before setting sail on the mission...

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Abe and the right-wing nationalists have ensured that these islands will NEVER be Japanese land, ever again. They've had more than one chance to get at least two back, but gave those up because it might lead to disparity among the ultra-right voters. Russia laughs at them and says flat out "No" while Abe says, around voting time, "I vow to have the issue resolved!" Forget it, people, sad as that might be. You helped make your bed by voting in the people that have ensured it is not a possibility.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In legal parlance the last best offer was made in 1956, 62 years ago. The price can only have gotten steeper.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Retired old folks have plenty of time to release hot air on their pension

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Whatever Stalin said, the Soviet Union had little fight left in it, with some 30 million dead and the infrastructure in shreds.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

If it had been necessary to invade the main islands of Japan to achieve a surrender, then the US would have probably welcomed Soviet cooperation, the way the allies cooperated in Europe. However, if the Soviets had assisted in an invasion, much more than Sakhalin and a few small islands would have been lost to Japan. Stalin wanted parts of Hokkaido and Honshu. He requested as much from Truman, but because of the atom bomb, Truman said no, and Stalin acquiesced.

Because of Imperial Japan's ambitions and brutality, Japan almost lost half of its home islands.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Historically, Japan insists the islands, which were once inhabited by the Ainu indigenous people, have never belonged to anyone else.

That's right. They belonged to the Ainu. And then the Wajin (Japanese) invaded. So, perhaps the Russians should give the islands back to the Ainu. Except there are hardly any left.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

Russia will never handover those islands

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Just a humble brag. I have an original map with these islands still part of Japan.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

So because you haven't read about it, it can't have happened? What you describe is what happens in wars everywhere. That's why it's so bad to nurse hatred and hang on to past grievances, as they lead to war, and war is like this.

Which is exactly why every minute the US spends in the middle east is only going to lead to generations of bitterness towards the west.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

When I was a child, elder people all said Japan was lucky losing a war to U.S. and occupied by them but not by Russia.

Pretty grim perspective, but entirely correct.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

This same scenario occurred all over Asia but with Japanese soldiers slaughtering every man women and child the encountered. I've never read of any instance where Japanese soldiers left without harming the family.

So because you haven't read about it, it can't have happened? What you describe is what happens in wars everywhere. That's why it's so bad to nurse hatred and hang on to past grievances, as they lead to war, and war is like this.

15 ( +20 / -5 )

At gunpoint, her father shielded his daughters at their home on an island north of Hokkaido.

"Only after you kill me!" he screamed at the soldiers, who left without harming the family.

This same scenario occurred all over Asia but with Japanese soldiers slaughtering every man women and child the encountered. I've never read of any instance where Japanese soldiers left without harming the family.

-1 ( +18 / -19 )

I sometimes feel strange that Japanese people dislike Russia while in Okinawa, U.S. Forces appear disliked as much as we dislike Russian. It is not fair. When I was a child, elder people all said Japan was lucky losing a war to U.S. and occupied by them but not by Russia.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

In 1956, Moscow offered to Tokyo the two smallest islands, Shikotan and Habomai, in exchange for a peace treaty, an offer that went nowhere.

You can thank the pig headed LDP govt. oyajis for rejecting the offer which was the best Japan could hope for.

Btw, whats with the sudden nostalgia laced stories about wrongly done by Japan mistreated by big bad gaikoku?.... Abe needs another issue to direct the sheeple towards before the summer election since he cant play the NK card right now?

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

Russia does not bar them from visiting.

The Japanese government does.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

In 1956, Moscow offered to Tokyo the two smallest islands, Shikotan and Habomai, in exchange for a peace treaty, an offer that went nowhere. But Ishigaki says people in Nemuro would now accept that offer, and even a partial return of the islands would bring "great benefits".

And there you have it.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

You really have to wonder if these stories aren't just that - stories.

-3 ( +13 / -16 )

They can pine for it all they want, but they have as much chance of getting it back, as the dead parrot has, getting to the fiords.

2 ( +16 / -14 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites