politics

Abe, Putin express new resolve to settle island dispute

34 Comments
By Kiyoshi Takenaka and Denis Pinchuk

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34 Comments
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They're Russian islands. Admitting it is the first stage in recovery, Japan.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

Oh well, seems the are all buddy-buddy.

I mean Abe calls him already Vladimir, does Putin call him "Shin-chan"??

In addition this: "....putting forth all my strength....". Hope he still has a lot (or some???) left! Because this issue will definitely need a lot of strength and patience.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

They're Russian islands. Admitting it is the first stage in recovery, Japan.

These islands belong entirely to the indigenous Ainu. Admitting it is the first stage for both Abe, Putin, and their respective nations in recovering some of their lost humanity and credibility.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Russia has two options: Either they can give back all or some of the islands and make everyone happy for about a year or two,... or they can keep the islands and spend the next decades/centuries enjoying the leverage you get from possessing a relatively worthless piece of land which your neighbor desperately wants back in order to salvage their national pride. Even more so when that neighbor happens to be friends with your biggest rival. Japan is naive if they don't see that Putin is just stringing them along, again.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Oh well, seems the are all buddy-buddy.

Indeed. Too bad Abe seems not blackbelt in Judo. They could be real buddy-buddy otherwise

2 ( +3 / -1 )

why dont they make the islands a protectorate of both states run by the natives oh hang on that would require trust. silly me...

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Russian and European news papers have a very different stance on this. I think it may be over for Japan. Depending on a few more factors, such as the outcome of the US election and the Syrian crisis. We may be at war by the end of December. Since Russia and Japan are still at war, Russia will not even have to declare war. It will just finish it. China will come along to help Russia and US will send a few ships, but will never risk a head on conflict with two super powers.mthey will sink a few ships, divide up Japan and sign a peace agreement. None of the tree super powers will risk a nuclear war or a bacteriological war to be fought out anywhere close to their territory. Japan will be used to settle the differences between the tree supper powers. Wake up Mr. Abe. Japan is for the US nothing more than a shield as Poland, the Ukrain, Israel and South Korea are as well. Expendable.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

“As the leader of Japan, I am firmly convinced of the correctness of the Japanese position, while you, Vladimir, as the leader of Russia, are entirely confident of the correctness of the Russian position,” Abe said.

Well, that says it all.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Smokescreen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's questionable whether these islands Japanese or Ainu. But 100% sure they are not Russian. And for the God's sake why everybody keep telling that Russians seized the islands "at the end of World War Two", when they actually grabbed the land after Japan has already surrendered to U.S?

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

We all know that Putin has to give in to Abe's and Japan's demands. Putin's sole reason why he's the leader of Russia is because of the Japanese voters......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Those island belongs to the indigenous people, not the Yamato or the Slavs....

2 ( +4 / -2 )

However the Japanese-Russo war started, it was before Japan-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact. However Soviet took IJA’s military exercises near border in Manchuria, IJA did not break the pact. Soviet did not renew the pact but should have kept to the pact until the original maturity

Northern Territories were not seized by Japan with violence and greed and Soviet was in the position to respect the spirit of Atlantic Charter

It is just ironic that the fact Japan getting completely disarmed, turned to the most peaceful nation which enabled Russia and Korea to occupy disputed islands for so-called effective control with administration

Those island belongs to the indigenous people

So let us all ethnic groups return to where we all used to belong to

Haha

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

onomatopoeia

These islands belong entirely to the indigenous Ainu.

OK, let's continue: Ainu also own Hokkaido, Akita and Miyagi, New Zealand belongs to Maoris, Australia belongs to aborigenes, and the US belongs to native Americans, UK belongs to Celts? And what leaders of these countries must do "in recovering some of their lost humanity and credibility"?

Dmytro Kovalov

But 100% sure they are not Russian

Wishful thinking. You need a reality check, seriuosly.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

and the US belongs to native Americans

Well, tracking the DNA, the Native Americans probably came from Australia and/or Melanesia, so maybe the U.S. belongs to countries in that area. I'm willing to offer New Jersey to settle our debts.... http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-native-american-origins-dna-20150721-story.html

The Southern Kuriles belong to Japan, but might makes right, or money makes right. Maybe after a payoff they will be Japanese again. It seems foolish not to sign a peace treaty because of this issue, though maybe waterway access is affected.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-11664434

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Morning Wind - I agree with you entirely in that none of the lands you mentioned rightfully belong to the colonists who currently occupy them. This includes the Formosan situation in Taiwan, the Hawaiians who had their islands stolen, the Han pogrom against the Tibetans, and dozens of other similar situations around the world in our so-called modern era.

As one of the more devout Russian apologists on this forum, I was not surprised by your failure to mention the forced extirpation of the Ainu from Sakhalin and Kamchatka by the Soviets and their continued denial of political/cultural recognition under the current regime. Since the Ainu are now essentially extinct in their former Siberian homelands, their human rights issue is fairly moot for Putin at this point. His track record of polonium assassinations, jet-liner downings, and frozen conflict instigations have long left him devoid of any humanity or credibility to recover.

In regards to the Japanese and their Meiji era cultural genocide against the Ainu, I doubt the Kaigi puppet in office will make a genuine effort to atone for the right of the Yamato people to subjugate any of the peoples in east Asia to the will of their god-emperors. The word Ainu is actually a pejorative meaning 'human' because the Yamato people viewed themselves as divine.

Since neither Putin nor Abe made any mention of the Ainu's predicament during this 'business conference', I would ask if you also share their apparent lack of consideration for the indigenous people caught up in / left out of their peace-treaty farce?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Genuine question. Japan is so much closer geographically to Russia than America that I've often wondered why Japan is so pro-American and why they don't, for example, form closer ties to Russia. Could someone give me an unbiased / neutral pro's and cons of what's in it for Japan if they a) stay America's friend over Russia or b) were to hypothetically become Russia's friend over America (I know that won't happen but humour me!) I ask because I don't know and I'm just curious! Thanks!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why not just ask the people living on and nearby which country they want to be part of? a) Russia b) Japan c) Other

Is it really so hard?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seriously, technically Japan and Russia are still in a state of war.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has to be aware that the so called Russian Kuril Islands, Habomai Archipelago, Kunashir, Iturup, and Shikotan were originally colonized by Japan and were seized as spoils of war under the defunct Soviet Union’s control that signaled the end of WW 2.

17,000 citizens of Imperial Japan were forcefully evicted.

The here and now, is 30,000 residents of Islands have rights of determination within Charters of the United Nations defined in international law.

The Russian federation has established military garrisons on Iturup and Kunashir. Russian President Vladimir Putin will never relinquish these naval gateways to the Pacific Ocean. Vladimir Putin's Pinocchio regime is a spectacle of lies and deceit, wrapped up in subversion and political subterfuge. A media masquerade, Abe san walk away

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The islands are not important. We need Russia for power balances in Asia. America's commitment to Japan is weakening. A good example is Senkaku. U.S. Forces on Okinawa was just sitting and drinking beer proving no detterance to China.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Seriously, technically Japan and Russia are still in a state of war.

on 19 October 1956, the Japan-Soviet Joint Declaration was signed in place of a peace treaty, stipulating the termination of the state of war and the resumption of diplomatic relations (this Declaration was ratified by both countries and was registered with the United Nations as an international agreement). In Article 9 of the Declaration, the Soviet Union agreed that after normal diplomatic relations between the two countries had been re-established.

I would not be surprized Russia voids this Joint Declaration again just because its not called Treaty but Putin seems not.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Hi DieRealityCheck, I know, I am not being particularly objective.....However on closer inspection, aspects of article 9 was never fulfilled. Although that compromise was never going be politically acceptable to either Governments.

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Japan agree to continue, after the restoration of normal diplomatic relations between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Japan, negotiations for the conclusion of a Peace Treaty.

In this connexion, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, desiring to meet the wishes of Japan and taking into consideration the interests of the Japanese State, agrees to transfer to Japan the Habomai Islands and the island of Shikotan, the actual transfer of these islands to Japan to take place after the conclusion of a Peace Treaty between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Japan

Joint Declaration by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Japan 1956.

<https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1341867-int-joint-declaration-by-the-union-of-soviet.html >

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Uwe Paschen attacking Japan is attacking the USA. Thus any war on Japan is the start of WWIII. If the US does not respond it will lose all credibility as a nation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The United States, the UK and the European Parliament consider these 4 islands to be Japanese territory under Russian administration at best, and under Russian occupation at worst. The WWII Allied Victors did not consider the to be territory taken by force or greed because they were negotiated back in 1855 between Japan and Russia. They saw the Soviet advance and occupation as part of the Soviet global expansion in the closing das of WWII. Only a complete idiot would be touting that they are "Russian Islands:. Even Russia recognizes the questionable position they are in on this issue which is why as far back as 1956 they have always used these islands as an issue of discussion in dealing with Japan, and continue to do so. Russia has never claimed these islands have been theirs since ancient times.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Logical fallacies 101:

the false dichotomy: "Russia has two options: Either they can give back all or some of the islands and make everyone happy for about a year or two,... or they can keep the islands and...."

That is actually three right there. Needless to say, Russia has many many options, but I think it would be a waste of time to introduce you to constrained optimization during bargaining if you have not aced the prerequisites. Let's just say you have over-pruned your dendrogram.

ipse dixit: "Russian and European news papers have a very different stance on this. I think it may be over for Japan. "

Certainly, if Russian and European newspapers have a stance, it must be correct. Oh brother. Because their predictions always come to pass. After all, they predicted Brexit, right? Oh. They didn't. And if they can't get THAT right, why believe that their analysis of Asian affairs holds any water? Journalism is bad worldwide, but I think European journalism has slid the most, and it has not hit bottom. Bottom being, well... Russian journalism.

straw man: Various "give them to the Ainu" sentiments. Why does this even make sense? Has any Ainu person even suggested this? How would this work? And should this "standard" be applied, say, to Taiwan and Malaysia?

And then.... CLARITY "The United States, the UK and the European Parliament consider these 4 islands to be Japanese territory under Russian administration at best, and under Russian occupation at worst."

Yeah. That is the reality. And Ossan has a good post and the best points really. Unfortunately, what should happen and should be is just not going to come to pass without some nudging and insight on the part of all involved.

I will repeat that Putin has far more to gain here by just giving in and showing the world what a great guy he is. Why not? For the largest country in the world to hold on to these rocks, and pay subsidies to its inhabitants, is ... just dumb. Really dumb. He has got to know that Japan won't pay much for them, and the US won't let them anyway. But just giving the islands to Japan is an offer nobody can refuse. And it is a game changer. Putin wins with a grand gesture. Trying to horse trade will never work. That 65 Buick just keeps rusting. Eventually Japan won't really need the islands, or extra resources, or land, or any of that. We all know nuclear weapons are worthless, and that defending a huge country is ruinously expensive. Russia has Italy's GNP. The world is changing. Time to unload the junk onto someone else, take the cash, and invest it in a better future.

Looking at his comments, it is pretty clear that he has missed the plot already. Bye bye Putin. You had a good run. Putin has gone from a visionary to a bean counter for oil interests, and not a good one. I remember a Putin who could seize opportunity and lead his people, now he just watches from the platform as opportunities pass him by. I guess Japan will eventually be dealing with Putin's successor, and that guy will take a deal because he needs the cash. You think the Russian oil oligarchs will complain? They will be ecstatic. Putin has lost them several pipelines already. Will they eventually have to write off the whole European market? The Chinese venture is a huge loser before it started. Bungle after bungle.

In the end, most people are posting about who is "right." Nobody cares really. Clearly, "control" of the islands does not count for much if you are just holding them out of spite. But the time for Putin is now. He can either play cards with the big boys, or he goes back to the kiddie table. The latter is an almost a sure bet. Abe's rhetoric is predictable. Putin's is already disappointing.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

onomatopoeia

I would ask if you also share their apparent lack of consideration for the indigenous people caught up in / left out of their peace-treaty farce?

First, I do not consider the peace treaty negotiations "a farce". Second, since Ainu were mostly assimilated by the Japanese circa X century (about a thousand years ago) I think Ainu are the problem of Japanese history, not a subject of present day political discussion.

His track record of polonium assassinations, jet-liner downings

Absolutely false. There was one (not several) assassination the West tried (and failed) to put blame on Putin for, and one (not several) jetliner, shot down by Ukrainian neonazi regime and which the West again tried (and failed again) to put blame on Russia. Check facts before writing such nonsense.

DodgyDoner

Could someone give me an unbiased / neutral pro's and cons of what's in it for Japan if they a) stay America's friend over Russia or b) were to hypothetically become Russia's friend over America

Unfortunately for Japan, it was forced to make such choice, while the best thing for Japan would be independent foreign policy without forced friends or enemies. For example, look at Finland. It also fought against USSR in WWII, lost territories to it, nevertheless after the war capitalist Finland enjoyed exellent relations with the communist USSR. The reason is simple: it remained neutral and did not enter NATO. Very prudent decision by Finns. Japan could be the same.

OssanAmerica

The United States, the UK and the European Parliament consider these 4 islands to be Japanese territory under Russian administration at best, and under Russian occupation at worst

And it aptly shows duplicity of the West. In 1945 Roosvelt and Chrchill pleaded Stalin to enter the war against Japan, promising him the whole Kurile islands. But after the war they declared the 4 islands occupied. Very dexterous, but also very dishonest.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

AsakazeSep. 04, 2016 - 02:51PM JST OssanAmerica "The United States, the UK and the European Parliament consider these 4 islands to be Japanese territory under Russian administration at best, and under Russian occupation at worst" And it aptly shows duplicity of the West. In 1945 Roosvelt and Chrchill pleaded Stalin to enter the war against Japan, >promising him the whole Kurile islands. But after the war they declared the 4 islands occupied. Very dexterous, but also >very dishonest.

Duplicity? Did the West also promise the whole of Eastern Europe, the Baltic States to Stalin? The USSR was never promised "the whole Kurile Islands". The Allies made no distinction between the "Kuriles" and "Southern Kuriles" because the Cairo Declaration had already made clear that; "They covet no gain for themselves and have no thought of territorial expansion. It is their purpose that Japan shall be stripped of all the islands in the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since the beginning of the first World War in 1914" and.. "Japan will also be expelled from all other territories which she has taken by violence and greed. " The Allies did not and do not consider the 4 islands to fa into this category as they became Japanese by negotiated treaty with Russia in 1855. The USSR is the one which displayed duplicity by taking European territory for their own gain in the aftermath of WWII. In other words, the Alllies had agreed upon their goal and limitations. The USSR joined later and ignored what had been previously agreed. Perhaps even more duplicitous is he way that they "legalized" their taking of these 4 islands under their own laws. The reality is that the USSR invaded these islands, most likely in the hopes of perhaps taking Hokkaido and confronting the United States as they did in Germany. They never made it, although they occupied the 4 islands, rounded up and deported the Japanese civilians who, had been living there. And all this after Japan had surrendered,

0 ( +1 / -1 )

OssanAmerica

I'd prefer not to stray into Eastern Europe, because it would be too off-topic. I'd only say that Stalin did the same thing the Western allies did - both sides made their spheres of influence, that's all the partition of Germany, for example, was about.

Your reference to the Cairo declaration is of little significance because USSR did not participate in the conference and did not sign the declaration. Of the most importance is the Yalta conference of 1945, where Roosvelt and Churchill promised Stalin, in return for joining the war against Japan in several months after the end of the war with Germany, the southern part of Sakhalin and the Kurile islands. That was the price the Allies paid to Stalin for his war against Japan. Period. That's why I call US/UK behavior duplicity - they agreed, they promised before the war (there is a signed document), but after the war the say "hey, we do not agree now". As I've said, dexterous, but dishonest.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

AsakazeSep. 04, 2016 - 11:06PM JST OssanAmerica I'd prefer not to stray into Eastern Europe, because it would be too off-topic. I'd only say that Stalin did the same thing the >Western allies did - both sides made their spheres of influence, that's all the partition of Germany, for example, was about.

Note how the "liberation" of eastern European nations by the Soviet Red Army resulted in assimilation into the USSR or becoming Satellites under Soviet subjugation, all at the same time as the Soviet invasion of these 4 islands off the coast of Hokkaido. Taking territory in the closing days of WWII was the Soviet agenda, and it IS the topic of this article, not off topic.

Your reference to the Cairo declaration is of little significance because USSR did not participate in the conference and did not sign the declaration

The often used excuse by those supporting Russia's position. It has little merit because Joseph Stalin was fully aware of the contents of the Cairo Declaration prior to the Yalta Conference. He hid his true intentions; Soviet expansion of territory for it's own gain. Eastern Europe has been liberated and Russia knows full well that this issue is not going away, hence and continued willingness to discuss it. The US and UK never agreed to Stalin being allowed to take the "whole Kurile", as evidenced by their position on the subject today. The only party guilty of duplicity is Russia. Stalin played the Allied powers, AND he played Japan with whom he had a signed Non-Aggression Pact.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

OssanAmerica

Note how the "liberation" of eastern European nations by the Soviet Red Army resulted in assimilation into the USSR or becoming Satellites under Soviet subjugation

Note how the "liberation" of western Europe by the Allies resulted in assimilitation into US-dominated sphere of influence, becoming satellites under US occupation.

Taking territory in the closing days of WWII was the Soviet agenda, and it IS the topic of this article, not off topic

Taking territory in the closing days of WWII was the US agenda, Americans occupied the whole Japan AFTER the capitulation. And the topic of this article is "Abe, Putin express new resolve to settle island dispute", not the WWII in Europe.

He hid his true intentions

No, he did not. Stalin made a demand, and Roosvelt and Churchill agreed to it. Without it USSR would have never entered the war against Japan.

The US and UK never agreed to Stalin being allowed to take the "whole Kurile"

What? Do you know anything about Yalta? Get some basics:

https://history.state.gov/milestones/1937-1945/yalta-conf

In case you prefer to ignore it, the part about the Kuriles: "the Soviets would be granted a sphere of influence in Manchuria following Japan’s surrender. This included the southern portion of Sakhalin, a lease at Port Arthur (now Lüshunkou), a share in the operation of the Manchurian railroads, and the Kurile Islands".

In other words, Stalin took what he was promised. Allies flip-flopped on the deal when the war ended.

The US and UK never agreed to Stalin being allowed to take the "whole Kurile"

Read the documents and know the facts, you'll see a rather different picture.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

"Once and for all" a war was a war and when you loose it.......... And did you apologize? I guess this has not much to do with economics after a lot of time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry Asakaze, but Russia obviously doesn't share you view otherwise they'd never even be discussing these islands. The other Allied victor powers don't either. What will ultimately develop between Russia and Japan will be something that will be mutually acceptable to the extent that the two nations can conclude a peace treaty. This, is the only fact that is of any significance today.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry Asakaze, but Russia obviously doesn't share you view otherwise they'd never even be discussing these islands

Sorry accepted. The fact that Russia demonstrates its willingness to talk about the islands only shows Moscow's good will. And they are consistent - in the joint declaration of 1956 Soviets promised to give to Japan 2 islands as a sign of good will in exchange for a peace treaty. What a pity that the Big Brother blocked the deal by threatening never return Okinawa.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@DodgyDoner "Genuine question. Japan is so much closer geographically to Russia than America that I've often wondered why Japan is so pro-American and why they don't, for example, form closer ties to Russia."

Just because Japan became a boneless military colony of the USA after WWII.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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