Abe, Putin on collision course over islands

By Richard Carter with Ola Cichowlas in Moscow

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What should be added is that there's currently a motion in front of the Russian parliament that would make it illegal for any territory to be ceded in an international treaty.

If that motion passes, Putin will be unable to give the any of the islands back even if he wanted to, because if he did the treaty would be declared null and void by the Supreme Court in Russia.

Which would make it easier for Putin to tell Abe that he would love to hand them back at some point but the law of the land prevents him from doing so. Thus keeping the status quo in place.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Abe is on a collision course with disappointment more than being on a collision course with Putin.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

"It is unpopular in any country to give up even small amounts of territory, but in Russia it would be especially so today given the difficult domestic situation."

Of course. Russia (6,599,921 sq.miles) is the largest nation in the world, with dearly double the area of the next few nations; Canada (3,854,083), China ( 3,746,887), United States (3,617,827).

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Its news to Russia that Japan is against them and now China and their buddies in the World Order???

Lol! Yeah Russia, if you are shocked then perhaps your the one whos far behind the times.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Ganbarejapan reality check: Abe had a very idiotic remark during the new year's address, that more or less completely cancelled Japan's chance of getting the territory back to the Ainu.

3 ( +13 / -10 )

This stalemate has been going on for decades and I see no resolution because neither side will compromise. It kind of reminds me of that scene in Finding Nemo where the seagulls are competing for a crab, “It’s mine! It’s mine! it’s mine........”

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is all SO predictable, said this many times, Russia LOVES playing with Japan wrt to these islands.

They ALWAYS make it look like maybe there is a way to sign a peace treaty, then inevitably as talks near things ""flare"" up casting  ""doubt""

Rinse & repeat, see you again on this same topic 9 to 15months later after this one doesn't "work out".....

Big surprise NOT!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@Ganbare Japan!

”Only Japan can modernize the islands, ...”

This is probably true. If it weren’t for the “threat” from Japan, Russia would not put one kopek into improving conditions in the islands. Russia is a POOR country, folks.

However, ability to modernize isn’t a basis for a territorial claim.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

IF Russia retrns any island as Japan demanded will lead to further land request from Japan. Remember the southern part of Sakhalin island was also part of Japan in and begore WW2! Japan has a very reckless appetites of land grabing!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Ganbare Japan

Games played by Russia

Why did Russia mislead Japan if their intention was to never give the islands back? Why did Putin fool Abe and made him come and have dozens of meetings constantly promising Abe and Japan progress and the return of at least 2 islands.

Russia is shades of black and never a friend of Japan, never a friend of China. Both Japan and China lost land to this white cancer next door.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Russian Siberia alone is twice the size of Canada packed with untold riches in natural resources.

Yet compare the Russian economy with Japan, the tiny land that has zero raw materials.

Why are you demanding economic cooperation from the poor little country who lost WW2?

Is it perhaps that because instead of creativity all you can think of is war and violence?

Go home to Siberia and enjoy your victory! Rude barbarians.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Time to accept the reality. Japan lost the war and lost the islands. No reason Russia should give them back.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

When your a small country which doesn't have enough land to begin with, every island/land matters.

Russia has more land for its population size/ similar to Japan with twenty five times bigger land, So much land they can't even develop many regions in Russia because of its poor economy and too big in size.

Russia should have lost land a long time ago. With a global population of 7 billion its literally not fare that white countries took all the land and left Asians with less and less land over the centuries. Look at some maps of the world.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Abe's diplomacy towards Russia has been an abject and total failure.


Prof James Brown of Temple University must get tired of repeating himself. And yet the oyajis and their media supporters still seem to think that Putin will wave his magic wand and just gift these islands to Japan. The self-delusion would be comical if it weren't so sad.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Seriously, what is the point of discussing this any further?!

Japan has no leverage to make Russian give the islands back and certainly doesn't appear ready to go to war to take them back.

Russia has no incentive to do so. And will never give up its territory without a compelling reason to do so.

So, we are at a stalemate, with Russia controlling the islands, Japan wanting them back, and nothing that will break the deadlock.

Seems to me that, for Japan, given Russia's unambiguous statements about not returning any of the islands to Japan, needs to just stake out its claims in the the strongest possible terms and then wait.

Something like this:

-- These islands are, until the end of time, the sovereign territory of Japan.

-- We will never ever renounce our claims to these islands and we will never ever renounce the use of force to reclaim these islands in the future.

-- We will never sign a peace treaty with Russsia unless / until it recognizes our sovereignty over these islands.

-- We will vigorously claim our sovereignty over these islands in any / all international bodies until they are returned to us.

And then never ever back down.

That is what I would do if I were Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan should accept that those islands are gone. Germany lost far more territory after WW2. They were willing to accept Sahkalin as part of Japan when they took it from Russia. Now the shoe's on the other foot.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Maybe Germany should start to ask Russia to get Königsberg back?

That area is way more than four rocks and it was inaliable Prussian territory.

Or Italy could start knocking at Slovenia and Croatia to get back Istria which was inaliable Italian-Venetian teritory for centuries.

Russia is far to be a saint of course,but Japan so as Germany and Italy started the war and it’s obvious to accept it’s outcome.

All this right-wing propaganda is frankly getting boring.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Abe and Co have expected for too long that Russia would “please cooperate” (ie. Do what Japan wants). What’s the collision course? In the game of chicken, Japan never even started the car, or had a driver. What’s Japan going to do? NOTHING. Shouganai, ne.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Japan's position on the four Southern Kurile islands have nothing to do with Japanese right wing. Are those who keep bringing this up saying that the US, UK are Japanese Right Wing? Let's get a clue.

And those saying the islands should be returned to the Ainu - Ainu are Japanese citizens. Just as Native Americans born in the US are American citizens.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The Ukranian view:


-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Only Japan can modernize the islands, boost tourism and fisheries, and provide very high level economic benefits and healthcare for all citizens, both Russian and the Japanese who will move there.

And then the 19000 or so people on those islands would be under Japanese law. From what I have seen of Japanese law recently, I think that I would rather reman poor.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

So there will be no peace treaty. Japan will be forced to buy its energy from America and the Middle East.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Abe, Putin on collision course over islands

There is no collision course whatsoever.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

IF Russia retrns any island as Japan demanded will lead to further land request from Japan. Remember the southern part of Sakhalin island was also part of Japan 

Japan had renounced any claim over Sakhalin island decades ago, and recognized it as Russian territory. (Even though Japan had a strong claim of ownership, it conceded Sakhalin to USSR ) The Northern Territories, however, are inalienable Japanese islands. They MUST all be returned, no compromise.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Russia owns the islands legally "according to the results of World War II" and has no plans to hand them over to Tokyo, he said.

"This is our land, and nobody is going to give this land to anybody."

If Russia is so confident they legally own the islands, agree with Japan to go to the ICJ to make a decision in finality.

Only Japan can modernize the islands, boost tourism and fisheries, and provide very high level economic benefits and healthcare for all citizens, both Russian and the Japanese who will move there. Putin is very popular in Japan.I am optimistic PM Abe will make a deal with him, probably the “2 plus 2” deal.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

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