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Abe meets Putin to discuss territorial dispute

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Those little islands, North Korea and now China are the main excuse to maintain huge military budget (or a tribute to US to recycle Japan's consistent automobile dollar) and without the islands both countries have to annouce something else like Chechnya, Georgia or Ukraine, which would make both countries extra awkward. So the status quo is in everyone's interest?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This controversy is so old it is not even controversial. OR Remember, if the status quo is unresolved, then only resolving it will change anything. OR In whose interest is it that this issue be resolved? Nobody's really.

Pick any one of the above and add it to this: If Russia sees no real value in changing iheir outlook, they will continue their long slide since 1945.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

wtfjapan and Smith there is plenty of natural gas and crude oil on the world markets. Not long from now Iranian gas and oil will be on the market for China to buy. Japan can buy its oil from the middle east and not feed the Russian Bear. Japan needs to stop talking to Russia. There is nothing to be gained. The future is in fish farms. Minerals can be bought in other countries. Smith you are an American, why do you break with your government and think Japan should do business with Russia?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What 'dispute'? They are Russian held, administered, and lived on islands. They are Russian, plain and simple. Japan says there is no dispute over the Senkakus for the same reasons, save that no one lives on them. Why the hypocrisy when they can't have their way?

What in the world are you talking about smith? Senkaku's are part of Japan in light of historical facts and based on international law

Why should they? Given that if Japan had not done (and denied) what it did they would not have been in that position in the first place. Maybe if Japan apologizes SINCERELY first then Russia can apologies for any inhumane treatment, but otherwise not necessary.

Huh? Why should Japan apologize for the Soviets who broke an international treaty unilaterally and subsequently went on a looting campaign during the time Japan surrendered?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Abe looks so scared of Putin and also Abe you not so tough after all.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@smithinjapanSEP. 29, 2015 - 03:20PM JST

Good that you can admit it.

Huh? What? Ever since I've been playing at JapanToday, I've been very consistent on these positions. I take Japan's side on Senkaku and Takeshima, not on the Kuriles. For comfort women I think overall claim strength is way too weak to hold, and certainly not with the fanaticism common to many to this board. I don't think I did that much Nanking but I think the evidence is too strong there to say it did not happen. Like them or hate them, but no new admissions have taken place. Oh yeah, and I think Article 9 is very very flexible.

Why should they? Given that if Japan had not done (and denied) what it did they would not have been in that position in the first place. Maybe if Japan apologizes SINCERELY first then Russia can apologies for any inhumane treatment, but otherwise not necessary.

I hadn't met many Japanese who denied they were in China or denied that Pearl Harbor happened, though they may ascribe different causes than Western norm.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

superbird1: "Clearly you believe that judo is the only art practiced, and that pooten is the only guy good at it..."

"Pootin", eh? How very adult. In any case, I don't think he thinks that at all. In my case I think it's funny that in a traditional Japanese martial art the Russian leader would wipe the floor with the Japanese leader, who is in horrible shape. It's also amusing because we are talking about Russia having taken previously Japanese held islands -- so again, Russia dominates in what was once Japanese. I added it as well, which was also lost on you, because there are many Japanese or Japanophiles on here suggesting that Japan be a 'tough guy' and attack Russia and take the islands back by force, when of the two nations, again, Russia would mop the floor with Japan (ie. Putin beating the crap out of Abe).

safinator: "Putin said on twitter that he would let Japan have the disputed Islands so called Kurils if Jaapn beat SA in the rugby unthinkable but it happened so is he as good as his word ?"

Well, the Rugby World Cup is not officially over yet, so Putin COULD pull an Abe and twist the meaning to be final rankings if SA does better overall.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Putin said on twitter that he would let Japan have the disputed Islands so called Kurils if Jaapn beat SA in the rugby unthinkable but it happened so is he as good as his word ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Christopher GlenSEP. 29, 2015 - 01:28PM JST Clearly you're "tough guy" talk is just not going to fly, especially not with Putin, who could easily put Abe on the ground in a Judo move (a Japanese sport!) while Abe just held his tummy and talked about magic arrows and said he'd hire a woman to get him tea.

You just made my day there. We are in complete agreement on this topic

Clearly you believe that judo is the only art practiced, and that pooten is the only guy good at it...

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Kazuaki: "I don't want to repeat why Japan's claim is crap"

Good that you can admit it.

Triring: "Never heard of the Soviets or the Russia make any formal apologies to the ilegally detained Japanese soldier some held as long as 10 years after the war for hard labor and brainwashing."

Why should they? Given that if Japan had not done (and denied) what it did they would not have been in that position in the first place. Maybe if Japan apologizes SINCERELY first then Russia can apologies for any inhumane treatment, but otherwise not necessary.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Triring

Never heard of the Soviets or the Russia make any formal apologies to the ilegally detained Japanese soldier

In October 1993, during his visit to Japan, Russian president Eltsin made the official apology.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Good luck Abe san your going to need it!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Peace Out: The islands belong to neither Japan nor Russia. They belong to the people who actually live there. Either that, or the people who live there are just peasants in a fiefdom, and, we all are peasants.

Chinese citizens don't own their property, they just get really-long-term leases. The govt owns the property, and rents it to them.

So if Russia has the same laws, then, no, the islands don't "belong to the people who actually live there."

Property ownership is USA is somewhat of a fiction, too, given that they'll take that property away from you if you don't pay taxes on it. Is it really yours if you have to pay for it forever?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Never heard of the Soviets or the Russia make any formal apologies to the ilegally detained Japanese soldier some held as long as 10 years after the war for hard labor and brainwashing.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Now that land has increased in value in this world, we know that Russia will not give that land. Only in the unfortunate event of another war could it be taken back, if at all. For it was during war that it was taken. Diplomacy shouldn't give up, though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The islands belong to neither Japan nor Russia. They belong to the people who actually live there. Either that, or the people who live there are just peasants in a fiefdom, and, we all are peasants.

All either country's "leaders" should be talking about is what the residents want, and also the question of who qualifies as a resident. If they cannot do that, to hell with both of them.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I say get over it and stop bitching and complaining!

Other countries also lost parts of their territories after the war (see Germany) and it's over (maybe not forgotten).

Live with the reality and quit dreaming!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Putin wants to be what he never been: A great leader of a great nation.

The same can be said of Abe, and not just "never been" but add "never be"!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I don't want to repeat why Japan's claim is crap, so let's move on to more interesting topics.

@F4HA604SEP. 29, 2015 - 09:03AM JST

You're right that japan considers those islands are theirs, but nevertheless its beyond doubt that another country (Russia) currently holds them, hence making it an international dispute, which the badly written constitution (especially article 9) explicitly forbids with no room for loopholes.

Actually, there are at least two ways to read the Constitution to allow military action. Before you scream, please note that the "pre-Abe" interpretations will also require one or the other to be valid.

That the Belligerency clause in part 2 is to be read to not exclude actions required by self-defense is already a given. Now for Part I.

1) International disputes do not cover situations concerning defense of own territory. Scream but since all war is international dispute, you kind of have to do that to maintain even minimal self-defense provisions. Either this or:

2) Since Japanese does not have imperfective and perfective clauses, there is flexibility as to which is in effect. Thus "解決する" is read as the perfective rather than imperfective. That is, it is only banned if military means ends the problem by itself. If it is ended by negotiation, the use of force is possible. Again, scream but you can't self defend without something like this in place.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It is nice that there are high level talks between 2 sides. But Japan has lost during the World War the Second and no way for the lost party to claim disputed islands during the visit to Tokyo. Only after that coming visit the visit to Moscow will be decided and if Abe-kakka remains he will be invited to make apologies concerning atrocities of the allied side with Germany and Italy. Secondly on the disputed islands there is for the last 20 years fishing mafia of Russia and China led by the member of Parliament Mr. Verkhovsky Alexander which is stealing and selling resources to China. There should be internationally recognized inspections of this long-termed crime. Only after solving the matter someting new might happen.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Russia is a big twarish.The issue of Northern Territories is bound to get resolved between Japan and Russia in due course . Patience is required to bring about a big thaw in relations between the two countires.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Clearly you're "tough guy" talk is just not going to fly, especially not with Putin, who could easily put Abe on the ground in a Judo move (a Japanese sport!) while Abe just held his tummy and talked about magic arrows and said he'd hire a woman to get him tea.

You just made my day there. We are in complete agreement on this topic

2 ( +4 / -2 )

YuriOtani and Triring: "Tell Putin no islands no trade!"

Fine, then RUSSIA can just accept further trade with China and other countries, and both boom while Japan busts. Meanwhile, still no islands for Japan. Clearly you're "tough guy" talk is just not going to fly, especially not with Putin, who could easily put Abe on the ground in a Judo move (a Japanese sport!) while Abe just held his tummy and talked about magic arrows and said he'd hire a woman to get him tea.

"Russia's economy is going down the tube and needs serious help. Japan can just wait for the next government to negotiate."

Wrong. You've got it backwards. Proof of that is Japan's constant requests for Putin to visit and his ignoring Japan until he sees fit, as well as him just ignoring Japan again when they say, "Visiting the islands hurts the feelings of the Japanese people! We object!".

Russia doesn't care. Japan does. The ball is in Japan's court, but you guys are suggesting Japan just ask the Russian side to leave the court so that Japan can get a few aces instead of having a player that hits back, and hits harder.

What happens when Putin brings up the Ukraine and says Japan needs to stop supporting the US and the UN? Is Abe going to pull another, "Well, shougainai ne. We have to support them and be against you. But please don't consider us as being against you! Make us an exception! We'll sanction you, you give us our islands back!"?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Japan can just wait for the next government to negotiate.

And they will get the same answer. If they swallowed their pride, and grovelled a little - they just might get 2 of the islands back. Russia may well accept this, to silence Japan

2 ( +3 / -1 )

" A little extra trade with Japan would be welcome " Yes, sure a little extra trade is always nice, but it is evident by looking at Russia/ Soviet Union history & their mentality that they will not trade territory for it. In hard times Russians will dig in. Japan had very little to bargain with.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

theeastisred

It's more accurate now then it was 40 years ago as hokkaidoguy had described.

Russia's economy is going down the tube and needs serious help. Japan can just wait for the next government to negotiate.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

The Japanese argument on why the islands belong to them is quite weak. As I understand it, Japan freely admits that the Soviets informed Japan that they were repudiating the non-aggression pact prior to declaring war, but the entire Japanese case seems to rest on the technicality that the internal procedures in the Soviet Union to officially scrap the pact hadn't yet been complied with. And as others have pointed out previously, it wasn't illegal under international law to conquer territory through war at the time, as it is now.

The Japanese argument reminds me of those people who try to fight their speeding tickets by claiming the policeman wasn't wearing his hat or something.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@marcelito

Have you seen the state of the Russian economy lately?

GDP down nearly 5%, inflation around 15%, average income around $450US/month. They're tanking very hard right now, and there are precisely zero chances of it improving in the near future. A little extra trade with Japan would be welcome.

And if not, no matter. Abe doesn't have to solve this. When Putin finally leaves public life (by resignation or revolution) a new Russia will emerge. Japan can negotiate with them.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

If Russia is going to continue to refuse then there will be no peace treaty. Simple as that. Without a peace treaty most Japanese corporation will be reluctant to invest in Russia. Without investment their development within the region would struggle to move forward. At the end Russia is going to suffer more without the peace treaty then Japan.

Your analysis is 40 years out of date.

Tell to Putin, no Islands, no peace. Japanese military base and US military base should move to Hokkaido.

A lot of Japanese military presence is already in Hokkaido for that reason, i.e. to counter the Soviet Union, later Russia.

Japan should attack Russian Military and retake all four Island plus Sakhalin.

The most ludicrous comment ever posted on this site.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Tell Putin no islands no trade! LOL so what Japan wont buy there gas / oil, fine China will happily take it instead of Japan, China will also happily invest in Russia in place of Japan. What many here fail to understand is that Russia is the most self efficient country in the world. They produce more than enough food energy to supply there population, if they were to close there borders tomorrow they could survive just fine, Japan on the other hand would collapse. Yes they are hurting because oil and gas prices are low, but they wont stay low forever. I would count on Russia crumbling under the financial strain, they have more than enough naturally resources and military might to handle the worse conditions

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Tell Putin no islands no trade!

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

"Tell to Putin, no islands , no peace " - Lol...you think Putin gives a hoot ? Japan seems to have this mistaken belief that Russia needs it really badly - there are other potential investors you know...

"Japan should attack and retake all four islands plus Sakhalin " -yeah right....chill out, how do you come with these gems?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

As previously mentioned, Russia previously offered to return 2 of the islands. A generous offer. (Japan certainly didn't offer Russia anything after 1905) http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-11664434

So what if the size of the 2 islands Russia offered to return is small? Japan should be grateful it's been offered anything at all

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I love how all the wingers on here are suggesting Japan rush to war with Russia now that Abe has changed the DEFENSE laws. All that would happen would be a very short, very quick loss of even MORE land to Russian conquering forces. The US would not jump to Japan's aid if Japan STARTED it, which is what people are suggesting here. This time Russia would get Hokkaido to boot. Or, Japan would just be destroyed flat out. Good suggestion, guys! And you wonder why Japan cannot get the islands back.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Russia never gives up real estate, it only takes and keeps and that's why it's so big. actually it made the big mistake of giving Alaska to America. At the time they didnt know how much oil / gas was there. Probably one of the most expensive mistakes in history. You can understand they dont want to make that mistake again

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Japan should attack Russian Military and retake all four Island plus Sakhalin. Russian is behaving like NAZI.

Um, no

4 ( +7 / -3 )

If Abe wants to end this dispute with Russia, then he better admit that the Kuriles Islands are Russian. Or he can do what the guy above me said, and try to take it away from Russia by military force (lol).

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Tell to Putin, no Islands, no peace. Japanese military base and US military base should move to Hokkaido why would the US want to step in, Japans alliance with the US only covers territory owned or controlled by Japan, the Kurills are currently Russian and controlled by Russia. The US certainly wont risk a military conflict with Russia over this issue. Japans only option is a diplomatic one, and a boat load of cash

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Tell to Putin, no Islands, no peace. Japanese military base and US military base should move to Hokkaido. If Russian has put Russian Military base on one of four Japanese Islands and then Japan should attack Russian Military and retake all four Island plus Sakhalin. Russian is behaving like NAZI.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

@Smithy

For Russia to actually offer oil and natural gas, Russia requires to escavate them from the cold barren eastern Siberia land. For that they need investors and engineers and lots of them as well as pipe lines and deep water ports. At the moment they very little of them to actually do any export on the Pacific side.

With no investment oil in the ground is basically the same as dirt.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Triring: "At the end Russia is going to suffer more without the peace treaty then Japan."

Wrong. Two words: oil and islands. Russia has Japan by the short hairs with both. Russia offered a couple of the islands back some time ago and Japan scoffed at it after it was clear the right wing would settle for nothing less than all the islands back, and so Russia just said, "Oh well... we offered a diplomatic compromise and Japan didn't want it. Their loss." Now Japan can barely get them to the table, and has to BEG Putin to come after he refused when Japan supported sanctions against them. This is Abe pulling another "Yes, we went against you, but please make us the exception!" same as with Iran, and everything else.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Putin looking at Abe, Abe unable to maintain eye contact. Yep, the picture says it all. Settle a treaty and be done with it Abe

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If Russia is going to continue to refuse then there will be no peace treaty. Simple as that. Without a peace treaty most Japanese corporation will be reluctant to invest in Russia. Without investment their development within the region would struggle to move forward. At the end Russia is going to suffer more without the peace treaty then Japan.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Abe is beating a dead horse. Like BB says, russia will retain those islands. Didn't Abe and cabinet catch the russian PM's drift when he met with Kishida recently?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japan and Russia live in peace for 70 years so technically they are at peace not at war....

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What 'dispute'? They are Russian held, administered, and lived on islands. They are Russian, plain and simple. Japan says there is no dispute over the Senkakus for the same reasons, save that no one lives on them. Why the hypocrisy when they can't have their way?

2 ( +9 / -7 )

@Scrote

It is Japan's intransigence and refusal to compromise that has kept the two nations from signing a peace treaty. When Japan surrendered at the end of the war it lost all claim to the islands.

Are you seriously suggesting that the Soviet Union's refusal to sign the Treaty of San Francisco is Japan's fault??

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The territorial dispute over islands called the southern Kuriles in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan has kept the two nations from signing a peace treaty ending their World War II hostilities.

It is Japan's intransigence and refusal to compromise that has kept the two nations from signing a peace treaty. When Japan surrendered at the end of the war it lost all claim to the islands.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Over the last few months Russia has been doing some major posturing..... Jet incursions and such, basically a show of force to ensure he has a strong position to negotiate from. Russia has been a major thorn in the West's side for quite a few years. Now with energy prices down and no prospect of them rebounding anytime soon Putin is starting to re-think his / Russia's strategy going forward. The question is, if he's looking to work with the West going forward, do we believe him and hope he's on the same page, or do we flat out refuse anything to do with him.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As long as J-govt. insists on the islands return as the basis for their negotiations with Russia it is never going to get anywhere. Its just a pony show dance for the domestic right wing and a complete waste of time.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I think Russia has enough land to worry about and needs to stop empire building. Using WW2 to get more stuff is crap, Japan has paid enough for what happened.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

F4HA604 - say what? The entire set of new laws are based on loopholes allowed by the Article 9. People like me are guilty of what exactly? Exaggerating facts to legitimate my agenda? Exactly what fact have I exaggerated?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@ebisen

So full of wishful thinking stemming from Abe hate.

You're right that japan considers those islands are theirs, but nevertheless its beyond doubt that another country (Russia) currently holds them, hence making it an international dispute, which the badly written constitution (especially article 9) explicitly forbids with no room for loopholes.

Article 9 has nothing to do with defending territories considered one's own.

People like you call the Japanese rightwing scum for adulterating/exaggerating facts to legitimize their agendas and beliefs, which they are guilty of, but so are you. Intellectually speaking you are no different from Abe.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Putin wants to be what he never been: A great leader of a great nation.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ossan, actually Japan still considers those islands as their own territories, and have now the legal framework and loopholes facilitated by a very badly written constitution (especially article 9) to start "defending" them. Abe is a right wing leader waiting his chance to make it into the history books...

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The territorial dispute over islands called the southern Kuriles in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan has kept the two nations from signing a peace treaty ending their World War II hostilities.

Read something while I was in a book store way back that the reason why Japan still insists on getting the islands back is that since Russia didn't honor international agreement (as evidenced by their unilateral breaking of the Neutrality Pact) with Japan, they want some type of commitment that they would honor the peace treaty.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

@PTownsend

All of the tough talking hawks posting on this site should be the first in queue, regardless of age, gender or nationality.

You make my mouth water. What i wouldn't give for the chance...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

ebisenSep. 29, 2015 - 06:56AM JST Time to send that new army of his to the Kuriles and check Russia's response. Any volunteers?

Have you ever read Article 9? The part about resolving disputs by force? It still exists in the J-constitution.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

"Putin will offer preferential fishing and mineral rights, as well as visitation privileges and perhaps residency options. But Russia will retain sovereignty over the islands."

If History is indication, Russia will offer the possibility of increased access to the islands of course if Japan gives a lot of cold, hard cash up front today. Russia will deny this and call the money "business investment" but it's just aid to Russia. Russia's ambassador, Mr. Lasarov (spelling?) already told our foreign minister Kishida that "certain post-WWII relaties must be faced." That's code for the islands are ours so shut-up about it. I wrote in a different post that I accept the islands are now Russia as possession in nine-tenths of the law and to the victors of war go the spoils. That's fine but Russia has got to get it through their collective head that with possession goes responsibility; they're your islands, Russia, you take care of them.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@ebisen

Time to send that new army of his to the Kuriles and check Russia's response. Any volunteers?

All of the tough talking hawks posting on this site should be the first in queue, regardless of age, gender or nationality.

To finance it they should also be willing to volunteer a greater percentage of their tax money they're always whinging about paying.

And then they should also spend time, energy and money on the post-combat planning. Unlike the US in Iraq. Or Afghanistan.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Putin will offer preferential fishing and mineral rights, as well as visitation privileges and perhaps residency options.

But Russia will retain sovereignty over the islands.

Russia never gives up real estate, it only takes and keeps and that's why it's so big.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Record of discussion as follows;

Abe: Mr Putin I really want those islands back.

Putin: Abe-chan; No.

Abe: Ok

Abe to Japanese public; "I tried. I will keep on working with President Putin to find a reasonable way to end this dispute."

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Time to send that new army of his to the Kuriles and check Russia's response. Any volunteers?

0 ( +7 / -7 )

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