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Russia to boost military presence on disputed Kurils

29 Comments

Russia will build new military compounds in the next two years on the Kuril islands that are the subject of a territorial row with neighboring Japan, a top commander said Friday.

"The decisions on constructing military base settlements on the islands Iturup and Kunashir have been taken and confirmed," the commander of Russia's Far Eastern military district Sergei Surovikov said, Russian agencies reported.

"All the main objects, and there are more than 150 of them, will be completed before 2016," he added.

Troops deployed on the two islands, which Japan considers its territory despite them being claimed by the Soviets in the final days of World War II, will also receive additional equipment, he said.

"The rearmament of the district's military bases located on Sakhalin island and the Kuril islands, is ongoing," he said. "This year we plan to receive 120 more armouried, special, and automobile equipment," he said.

Relations between Moscow and Tokyo have been strained for decades because of the status of southernmost four of the Pacific islands known as the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan.

One solution mooted in the past could involve Russia ceding control of the two smallest islands of Shikotan and Khabomai and keeping the much larger Kunashir and Iturup (known as Kunishiri and Etorofu in Japan).

© (c) 2014 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Japan considers its territory despite them being claimed by the Soviets in the final days of World War II

The fact is this territorial dispute has been settled by the 2 atomic bombs and various WWII peace treaties/agreements such as the San Francisco Peace Treaty and Potsdam Declaration (terms of surrender for Japan in WWII).

Article 2 (c) of the San Francisco Peace Treaty says "Japan renounces all right, title and claim to the Kurile Islands"

And Article 8 of the Potsdam Declaration (terms of surrender for Japan) says

"The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we ( US, UK, China and Russia) determine."

Even though the US secretary of State, John Kerry said the US will protect Japan's claims in the South China Sea and East China Sea, the fact is Japan has given up its claims in the South China Sea and East China Sea too according to the various WWII peace treaties/agreements drafted by the US government itself.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

So, do you think this has anything to do with Japan's announcement the other day to send 100 troops to an island near the their other disputed islands in the south?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

What???!!!

Haven't the Russian government got enough to be getting on with, putting right the mess, they share some responsibility for creating in Europe?

Similar to some modern day Fagin, wants to paw over ill gotten gains.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Guru29

No the then Soviets acknowledged that there is a dispute when they offered two of the smaller islands to be returned and other two to be negotiated in the 60's to settle a peace treaty.

By the way you much favored Potsdam declaration forbidden spoil of war to be taken so the Soviet's actions were illegal no matter how you slice it.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Is this really necessary? I thought that they have bigger problems with the Crimea...seriously.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Correct me if I am wrong Shinzo Abe went out of his way to afford Russia and in turn, President Vladimir Putin a show of support for the Sochi Olympics. Most of the leaders of the Western world decided to snub the Sochi Olympics.

Shinzo Abe has also steered Japan clear of calling for outright sanctions for the alleged actions Moscow has taken in precipitating a crisis in Ukraine.

Japan poses no threat of force, or coercion, their uniforms display the correct insignia, these disputed islands are perfectly safe from subterfuge and intimidation.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Things are beginning to get real interesting for Shinzo Abe; the big mouth who criticised Russia on Ukraine. This must happen to a person who is getting too big for his shoes. Kishida is totally lost and so had to cancel his trip to Russia.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is proof that the Russian barbarians have no intention of returning any of the islands to Japan.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

The only reason that Russia entered the war against Japan was to steal as much land as it could being Japan had already been defeated and was using Russia as a go-between in talks with America to stop the war.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

No the then Soviets acknowledged that there is a dispute when they offered two of the smaller islands to be returned and other two to be negotiated in the 60's to settle a peace treaty.

In order to make Japan totally isolated by its neighbors and remains helpless and fully dependent on the US, the US government started to encourage/instruct Japan to violate all WWII peace treaties it signed with the US government and reclaim territories it lost to the Allied (especially China and Soviet Union) shortly after the beginning of the Cold-war. That's how Japan's current territorial disputes with its neighbors came about.

Then in 1956, the Soviet tried to win Japan over by giving 2 of the 4 islands to Japan to settle their territorial dispute, this was initially supported by the Japanese foreign minister, Shigemitsu Mamoru. However, when the Americans learnt about it, the US secretary of state, John Foster Dulles (the person in charged of drafting the San Francisco Peace Treaty during MacArthur time) quickly warned Shigemitsu that if Japan dared to comply with the San Francisco Peace Treaty to cede 2 of the 4 islands to Soviet Union, it could say goodbye to the Ryukyu Islands (Okinawa) forever and the Ryukyus would then be part of the US.

As a result, Japan reclaimed all the 4 islands it ceded in the San Francisco Peace Treaty as demanded by the US and has not been able to conclude a peace treaty with Russia to this day.

As for the territorial dispute between China and Japan, if the US did hand over the Ryukyu Islands to the UN for independence as it agreed with China during the Cairo Conference and as what was stated in Article 3 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty, then there will be no dispute. However, when Japan started to get in touch with China by around 1970, Henry Kissinger made the decision to transfer the administration of the Diaoyu/Senkakus to Japan but "without handing over their sovereignty" in order to create discord between the 2 countries.

However when even doing so did not stop Japan from establishing a peace treaty with China in 1972, Henry Kissinger became very angry and said the following:

"Of all the treacherous sons of bitxhes, the Jps take the cake. It's not just their indecent haste in normalizing relations with China, but they even picked National Day as their preference to go there"

And when Japan held a 2+2 meeting with Russia a few months ago, Obama retaliated by asking his Pentagon spokesman to make the announcement on the same day that the US had no plans to defend the Diaoyu/Senkakus with Japan.

As for the Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo islands), early US drafts of the San Francisco Peace Treaty explicitly recognized it as part of Korea, but in December 1949 - immediately following the establishment of the PRC, but before the outbreak of the Korean War, US treaty drafts reversed course and assigned the islands to Japan. Even though the actual San Francisco Peace Treaty did not mention the Dokdo islands, the US government did inform the government of South Korea that it regarded the Dokdo islands as Japanese without giving any reason.

From all the above, it is very clear that the US doesn't really care who the real owners of those islands are but it will forever use these territorial disputes it created for Japan after WWII to keep Japan as its protectorate for as long as possible.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Hail Putin ! the putinism will be the ruin of Russia in future...

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Looks like the last nail in the coffin. Once "all the main objects, and there are over 150 of them" are built, Japan will never be able to get the islands back.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Bear

The only reason that Russia entered the war against Japan was to steal as much land as it could being Japan had already been defeated and was using Russia as a go-between in talks with America to stop the war.

It's a shame when the facts get in the way of a good theory.

At the Tehran Conference (November 1943), Stalin agreed that the Soviet Union would enter the war against Japan once Nazi Germany was defeated. At the Yalta Conference (February 1945), Stalin agreed to Allied pleas to enter World War II's Pacific Theater within three months of the end of the war in Europe. The invasion began on August 8, 1945, precisely three months after the German surrender on May 8 (May 9, 0:43 Moscow time).

(Wikipedia)

That's precisely three months. The last possible date if the Soviets were to honour their pledge to the UK and the US.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A clear sign Putin has no intention to settle the territorial dispute with Japan. Abe would be a fool to think there is any basis for negotiations with Russia under Putin. He'd only get stabbed in the back.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan will never be able to get the islands back.

Joining the USA and Europe in anti-russian choir wasn't a best way to get islands back. Besides, Putin can act like a true leader of his country while Abe cannot. Making crimean referendum and re-gaining of territory, Putin did not ask an approval for his actions from Washington D.C.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is Putin's payback for Japan supporting the US sanctions on Crimea. All's well: Japan decided that its alliance with the US is worth more than the promise of closing the Kurile issues with Russia. On balance, I think Japan made the right decision and should just suffer Russia's wrath, for now.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Wow...this is pretty petty of Russia.

Why build a military base on these islands? No one was planning on seizing them. I mean, it'd be crazy to think one country would just walk into another's territory, even if disputed, and try to legitimize its inva--...

Oh...

This is awful. I hope Japan is able to get their territories back, eventually. Doesn't look like its going to happen anytime soon, though.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Why build a military base on these islands? No one was planning on seizing them.

Who knows? If a war breaks out in Europe over Ukraine, Japan and the US can always invade Russia from the east.

Wow...this is pretty petty of Russia.

It doesn't reflect the pettiness of the Russians but rather the total failure of Shinzo Abe's foreign policies.

Isn't it idiotic for Japan to offend all its immediate neighbors? Now, not only the Chinese, North Koreans, South Koreans and Russians hate Japan but it seems that even the Americans are very unhappy with Japan too.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Guru29Apr. 19, 2014 - 03:54PM JST Article 2 (c) of the San Francisco Peace Treaty says "Japan renounces all right, title and claim to the Kurile Islands"

Japan was to lose territories it had taken through war.The Allied powers meant the Kuriles which Russia owned prior to the 1904/05 Russo-Japanese War. They did not mean the Southern Kuriles which have been Japanese since 1855 by a Treaty with Russia. This is why, when the USSR invaded the four southern Kurile islands after Japan had surrendered that they were taken illegally. To this date he United States, UK, an the European Parliament considers them to be Japanese territory under Russian occupation.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Now Russia succeeded in Europe, I wonder Russia is dreaming Hokkaido and Northern Japan will behave like that? These two islands are close to Japan and far far from Russia.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Who knows? If a war breaks out in Europe over Ukraine, Japan and the US can always invade Russia from the east.>

Fortifying the Kurils won't make much difference, though. This is just a provocation by Russia aimed at putting pressure on Japanese foreign policy.

It doesn't reflect the pettiness of the Russians but rather the total failure of Shinzo Abe's foreign policies.>

So, you're blaming Shinzo Abe's foreign policy, and not Putin's illegal invasion of Crimea? Japan cannot support Russian aggression in light of what China is doing in the East China Sea. That said, the Japanese response has been mild in comparison to Europe's, out of consideration for relations with Russia.

It doesn't reflect the pettiness of the Russians but rather the total failure of Shinzo Abe's foreign policies.

not only the Chinese, North Koreans, South Koreans and Russians hate Japan but it seems that even the Americans are very unhappy with Japan too.>

Russia had it coming for invading Crimea, and destabilizing the Ukraine. Japan's security position could not survive a conciliatory approach to Russia's actions in Eastern Europe.

China, North Korea and South Korea will always have issues with Japan unless Japan gives money/territory/apologies. And probably after that, as well.

There are no outstanding issues with American-Japanese relations. Not sure where you're getting that.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Russia’s new military deployment in disputed Kuril islands shows how Russians views Japan (backed by the US) as a potential security threat although it’s unlikely

Russia’s anxiety induced builtup in these disputed islands may have some reasons since the US is starting talking to station American troop in Poland as the crisis in Ukraine continues.

I can certainly understand Japan’s hope - someday Russia might return parts of Kuril Islands to Japan as a gesture of goodwill. But the reality indicates that possibility seems a pipe dream. There is another way to think about this: if Japan presents footing on any these disputed islands, big or small, it means Russia loses a buffer, and furthermore, Russians are not in the mood o concede any time soon.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Seems like Russia's payback for Japan joining the US.and EU in its sanctions and criticism of the Ukraine situation.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All nations seem to be reclaiming and holding fast "their" territories. Is something coming? Whaddup?

Japan, U.S. to back ASEAN's sea surveillance

Russia to boost military presence on disputed Kurils

China, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Korea, et al in on the action.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I can certainly understand Japan's hope - someday Russia might return parts of Kuril islands to Japan as a gesture of goodwill.

Even Soviets were ready to return 2 of 4 islands to Japan. Having good foreign policy, Japan would follow negotiations and get back all 4 pieces of Kuril chain, sooner or later. But Japanese preferred to listen Americans, following a political course of boneless servants of the USA. Having military alliance with the USA, Japan represents a potential military threat for Russia. And Russians would never return any piece of land to hostile country.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Russia should give the people of the Kuriles a vote on whether they want to be part of Russia, Japan or have independence, like was done in Crimea. Only this time without the guns to the head!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Even Soviets were ready to return 2 of 4 islands to Japan. Having good foreign policy, Japan would follow negotiations and get back all 4 pieces of Kuril chain, sooner or later."

Let’s get this straight: given the climate of second waves of cold war (or hot war if you’d prefer) is arriving, the probability that Russia returns any of disputed Kuril Islands to Japan is zero not mention the time is not on Japan’s side either.

It’s time for Japan to have a reality check, and stop wishful thinking.

I’d expect my comments above would not bode well with those Japanophile, but that is alright. Months ago, I predicted that Chinese ADIZ would stay and Abe’s then Russian strategy was purely timewasting maneuver, those folks jumped out of their seats and attacked me, but now in retrospect, what have happended ? :)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How's this for delusional? I think the islands should be given back to the Ainu people. It was their home for centuries. But indigenous peoples have no rights or recourse in this modern civilized age, now do they?

The islands don't belong to Russia, and they don't belong to Japan. They belong to the Ainu.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sidekick Joining the USA and Europe in anti-russian choir wasn't a best way to get islands back. Besides, Putin can act like a true leader of his country while Abe cannot. Making crimean referendum and re-gaining of territory, Putin did not ask an approval for his actions from Washington D.C.

and kissing Moscow's vodka soaked, Borscht spewing ass will not get them any of the islands back now will it. This is just that balding fool Putin's latest swipe at Japan. I say Japan should scrap the visa-free trips to Japan for the Russians on those islands. And the next time an earthquake hits the Kurils, instead of begging Japan to help the Russians should fend for themselves

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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