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Russia expels Japanese man accused of gathering secret data

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Japan asserts territorial rights to the islands, which it calls the Northern Territories, and the dispute has kept both countries from signing a peace treaty.

Japan ceded sovereignty of these islands when it signed the San Francisco Peace Treaty. Is Japan trying to go back in its word after it signed an internationally recognized treaty?

-14 ( +10 / -24 )

Is Japan trying to go back in its word after it signed an internationally recognized treaty?

Yes, they haven't heard of irony it seems

-8 ( +10 / -18 )

Smokescreen. Russia doing this to try and offset their own agents getting rumbled gathering information in Japan.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

The Treaty of San Francisco of Sept 9, 1951 was signed by 49 nations. But Russia did not sign it.

Japan ceded sovereignty of the Southern Kuriles, not the entire Kurile Chain. But more important than the difference in definition, is the fact that while Japan ceded sovereignty, it never ceded it to the USSR/Russia, Which is why to this date the United States, United Kingdom and even the European Parliament consider the 4 islands of the Southern Kuriles to be Japanese territory currently administered (ie;occupied) by Russia.

Anyone who thinks Japan is "backing out of any agreement" or mistakingly believes Japan ceded these islands to a country that was not even a signatory to the Treaty under which sovereignty was ceded, is utterly misinformed.

10 ( +20 / -10 )

Its the job of a journalist to ask questions and aquire information. So basically a journalist was kicked out of Russia for asking the "wrong" questions. Big surprise.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

This is a straight question (seeking understanding). Japan then ceded the islands to whom?

So the issue of the islands is an issue between Russia and whomever Japan ceded the islands to, is that what you mean?

In other words, it’s not a problem between Russia and Japan but some other country, is this correct?

I don’t understand the part about ceding the islands but now claiming the islands.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

OssanAmericaToday 10:29 am JST

Frankly, that reading is indefensible on the merits and is propelled more by Russophobia (a unifying force of US, UK and Europe) than any other factor. It is correct that Japan never ceded sovereignty to Russia. But it did agree to cede sovereignty (without a target) to all those other countries. You may argue about the ownership of the islands, but the answer of "Japan" is manifestly against the plain text of that treaty.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

"So basically a journalist was kicked out of Russia for asking the "wrong" questions. Big surprise." Actually, the journalist was after classified information. That's not exactly asking the wrong questions. He was treated quite nicely under the circumstances. In the bad old days he would have been sent to Siberia and eventually executed.

And, hey, the southern territories belong to Russia. Be grateful the Soviet Union did not take Hokkaido.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

The demands for Japan's to secede from these occupied territories didn't just come up at the SF conference. They were voiced severally by the allies at Potsdam, Yalta and Cairo ... and Stalin ...USSR rep was right there !

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

OssanAmerica

Indeed. The Treaty of San Francisco stipulated that Japan had to return territorially to its original state. Which are the borders of 1879.

The USSR militarily occupied Japanese territory that in theory should have been returned under that treaty. And he didn't.

This is something very similar to the Crimean Peninsula. Which legally belongs to the Ukraine, but is occupied by Russia.

Actually, it's a pretty sensitive issue.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

This was a purely political arrest. This man was no spy, he was almost certainly just sightseeing in Vladivostok.

Japan ceded sovereignty of these islands when it signed the San Francisco Peace Treaty. 

Japan has never and will never cede any of the Northern Territories. Hopefully Russia will come to be their senses and return the islands it stole. They are too scared to take the issue to ICJ, as they know Japan will win 100%.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Correction : he was covering the issue as a reporter and sightseeing. Absolutely wasnt an undercover agent as Russia is stating.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiJan. 28  07:41 pm JST

OssanAmericaToday 10:29 am JST

Frankly, that reading is indefensible on the merits and is propelled more by Russophobia (a unifying force of US, UK and Europe) than any other factor. 

Your argument has no merit at all unless you are in denial of the post WWII Sovet landgrab that has shaped much of the world throughout the Cold War.

Cogito Ergo SumToday  03:06 am JST

The demands for Japan's to secede from these occupied territories didn't just come up at the SF conference. They were voiced severally by the allies at Potsdam, Yalta and Cairo ... and Stalin ...USSR rep was right there !

The Allies agreed that Japan was to be stripped of territory that had been "taken by war or greed". The 4 islands in question became Japanese territory in 1855 through a negotiated Treaty with Russia. Therefore the USSR violated that agreement. Hence the other WWII Allied victor natuons do not recognize Russia's claim.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@OssanAmericaToday 09:11 am JST

Your argument has no merit at all unless you are in denial of the post WWII Sovet landgrab that has shaped much of the world throughout the Cold War.

How does the "post-WWII Soviet landgrab" have anything to do with the final text of the San Franscisco Treaty. It does not remove the obligation from Japan to cede its sovereignty over the aforementioned islands.

And remember, Cairo is but a principle, a unilateral declaration without binding force. By Potsdam it has been clarified and updated to "Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku, and such minor islands as we determine" which is slightly different. Now it claims free discretion for said "minor islands".

By the time of San Franscisco, the exact places to be ceded and kept are further clarified into a bilaterally binding treaty. I am aware the Russians didn't sign, but you can't say you have sovereignty and not have sovereignty at the same time.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiToday  11:12 am JST

@OssanAmericaToday 09:11 am JST

Your argument has no merit at all unless you are in denial of the post WWII Sovet landgrab that has shaped much of the world throughout the Cold War.

How does the "post-WWII Soviet landgrab" have anything to do with the final text of the San Franscisco Treaty. It does not remove the obligation from Japan to cede its sovereignty over the aforementioned islands.

To whom was Japan to cede these islands under the San Francisco Treaty? The USSR was not even a signatory to this Treaty. Consequently, the USSR acted outside the authority of the Treaty and simply invaded and occupied them. And that is how the actual signatories to the Treaty see it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@OssanAmericaToday  02:13 pm JST

To whom was Japan to cede these islands under the San Francisco Treaty? The USSR was not even a signatory to this Treaty. Consequently, the USSR acted outside the authority of the Treaty and simply invaded and occupied them. And that is how the actual signatories to the Treaty see it.

And that is a legally indefensible, politically motivated, feel-good-at-kicking-Russia position. Sovereignty, like ownership, does not have to be transferred. It can simply be abandoned. If you officially abandon something and I pick it up, whatever happens, you don't own that something anymore.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@kazuakishamzalkizaki

Nonsense. My post is a statement of fact, not a defense. The US, UK, and the European Parliament disagree with your view. The Southern Kuriles was not Terra Nullius, it certainly ws not abanoded. The Soviet Red Army rounded up the Japanese inhabuitants and deported them. The future of these islands was to be determined by the 49 signatories to the 1951 San Francisco Treaty. The USSR, a non-signatory, simply stole them without any jurisdiction or authority. Russia even "legalized" the seizure and occupation in it's own laws later since they had nothing to legally back their action. Have a nice day.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In summary, Japan ceded sovereignty to these islands. I have not read anything that denies the fact that Japan ceded sovereignty. And when Japan relinquished ownership, what happens thereafter really does not involve Japan.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@quercetum

 I have not read anything that denies the fact that Japan ceded sovereignty.

And where have you read that they were to be ceded to the USSR/Russia?

what happens thereafter really does not involve Japan.

Wrong. Because the USSR/Russia was never authorized under the 1951 Treaty to occupy the four islands, the USSR/Russia rounding up and deporting 17,000 Japanese nationals, is most certainly a Japanese issue. Russia simply stole the islands the same way they stole territory they "liberated" from Nazi Germany in Europe, and now refuse to give them up for their strategic value and natural resources.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

OssanAmericaToday  11:58 am JST

OK, think of this way. Suppose I happen to be holding possession of something nominally in your ownership. You declare to the whole world you "renounces all right, title and claim to" said something. The object is now Abandoned and I, who happen to be having possession of it, can Slow-Acquire it through Prescription. Further, any claims that I "stole" that thing becomes moot, because you are no longer an injured party.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@zusakizaki

Japan never "declared to the whole world that they cede anything". So much for your attempt at an analogy. They did so only to the 49 signatories of the 1951 Treaty, and thereby established a Peace Treaty with those nations.

The USSR/Russia was never a signatory to that Treaty, there exists no Peace Treaty between Japan and Russia even today, and there is nothing even mentioning the USSR much less giving them any administrative rights over any territories in the 1951 Treaty.

Yes, the USSR/Russia stole these islands just like they stole countries they liberated from Nazi Germany. But they did so because since the US was able to etablish a footing in Europe and Mediterranean despite the amount of effort made by the USSR against Germany, Stalin felt the USSR should also have a presence in/near Japan even though the US fought most of the Pacific War.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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