politics

Kremlin dismisses Japan's objection to geological survey in Okhotsk Sea

17 Comments

The Kremlin said on Friday it had a sovereign right to carry out work in the Sea of Okhotsk off Russia's far eastern coast after a Japanese official objected to Moscow conducting a geological survey there.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga described Russia's survey as unacceptable and in conflict with Tokyo's position on four Russian-held islands claimed by Japan, the Japan Times cited him as saying.

"Russia has a sovereign right to carry out any research on its territory," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov during a conference call on Friday.

The geological survey in the Sea of Okhotsk, near the disputed islands, began on June 18 and is set to last for three months, Russian news agencies reported.

Japan calls the four Russian-held islands, off its main northern island of Hokkaido, the Northern Territories. Known in Russia as the Southern Kuriles, the islands were seized by Soviet forces in the closing days of World War Two.

The territorial issue has blighted relations between Russia and Japan for decades and has prevented them from signing a formal peace treaty ending World War Two.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

17 Comments
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Geological surveys are not going to change a thing. The Russians don’t want a US military base on their doorsteps. If Japan wants the security alliance then Japan will have to give up on the idea of the islands returning. Can’t have your cake.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Exactly. Not Japan’s islands anymore. Time to move on.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

Our dear leader has to spout some nonsense to keep the far right on his wagon. Even if it is a white K-truck.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

quercetumToday  07:37 am JST

Geological surveys are not going to change a thing. The Russians don’t want a US military base on their doorsteps.

Frankly I think it's far more a matter of Russian pride (ie; stick to America) than anything else. The United States has had a military presence in Japan since 1945 and that's not going to change. Russia holding on to these four insignificant islands, which could be erased off the map in like 10 minutes has no real strategic value.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

But don't the Russians realize that their islands are inside Japan's EEZ!

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Ossan said -

"Russia holding on to these four insignificant islands, which could be erased off the map in like 10 minutes has no real strategic value."

3 interesting points -

1) If they are insignificant why is Japan so concerned about them?

2) How could these islands be erased from the map in 10mins.? How?

3) You said they have no strategic value - yet they act as a buffer between Russia and Japan, they allow access to the Pacific for Russia and a passage-way for it's navy fleet, they create a presence in the North Pacific in Russia's eyes to balance the US/ Japan alliance in this area.

I don't necessarily agree with all of this but your blanket statement has no substance as I see it.

Please explain in detail.

3 ( +13 / -10 )

Russia holding on to these four insignificant islands, which could be erased off the map in like 10 minutes has no real strategic value.

No strategic value? Absolute nonsense....the islands provide an obvious buffer zone between Russia and are another potential US military base from being set up Russia,s doorstep. That much is pretty evident to anyone with a map.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

make it clear.kuril islands are part of Russia as result of ww2.

any more questions?

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

If it weren’t for the US, the Russians would be on Honshu. At best it would’ve been a divided Communist North Japan and a Democratic Western Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The islands are important to Russia at it contains minerals and rare metals such as rhenium and they want to control mining rights, etc.

Strategic wise, the Russians are afraid that if Japan gained sovereignty over all four islands, they could (with the help of the U.S. Navy) bottle up the Russian Navy based in Vladivostok and deny full access to the Pacific Ocean.

On the other hand if the Russian were to gain control of the northeast part Pacific Ocean around Japan, and combined with China controlling the China Seas, they could blockade Japan's maritime sea lanes and hamper trade with the rest of Asia.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Time for the Russians to move on. The islands are Japanese. Russia seized them in direct contravention of their treaty with Japan.

However, the US also has itself to blame. The US ended up prolonging the war to test its nukes on the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

If the US had earlier communicated its intention to let Hirohito remain a figurehead the war would have ended much sooner. Accordingly, the Russians would not have been able to seize the islands.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Strategic wise, the Russians are afraid that if Japan gained sovereignty over all four islands, they could (with the help of the U.S. Navy) bottle up the Russian Navy based in Vladivostok and deny full access to the Pacific Ocean.

There are sea routes out of Vladivostok other than the northern isles. The Russia navy there isn't what it use to be.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Russia is an economic basket case, declining rapidly. They should agree to administer the islands with Japan so as they can be jointly developed (big resorts, fishing, industry etc) and then, after 10 years, hand them back to Japan. The 30,000 or so residents can choose to remain Russian, or become Japanese. Japan will agree to no US bases on the 4 islands.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There are sea routes out of Vladivostok other than the northern isles. The Russia navy there isn't what it use to be.

Shows how much you don't know or you don't want to believe. Then check this out:

https://www.midgardraven.com/vladivostok-naval-base

The Pacific Fleet is being revitalized with new facilities and ship upgrades in response to increased tensions with the United States, allied support, and the growing competition for natural resources in the region. The continued monitoring on new types of SAM emplacements around critical infrastructure, ballistic submarine refits, and increased numbers of supporting vessels can gives clues to the strategies invested towards by the Russian government around their evolving Naval doctrine. Simultaneous and correlating analysis of Naval bases such as Vladivostok, Zvezda, and Rybachiy will lay the foundation towards discovering these leads.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The point to all this is that Japan has to take "action" and do the "mapping" of their own territory "before" others do. Just as China and S Korea is already doing near other Japanese islands in the Japan Sea, the Pacific Ocean and the S China Sea. That data should be kept "on record" for the entire world to "recognize", before others take advantage of this complacency. If there are data on record, then that should be made available as "evidence" (without any national security information) to the world to "prove" the "right of ownership". That is exactly what is done in Real Estate business as well as in government records to "register" and "prove" legally and otherwise the "ownership" of any property above and below a "definable" and "confirmable" territory.

The key to all this is that "occupation" of any territory by any country or person and taking from or using that property cannot be prevented by "words" but by "action" to "remove" or "prevent" such action physically. Once occupied, only physical force can remove the offender or prevent such action if the offender "refuse" or "ignore" a valid "request" and "demand".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Russia's survey of Okhotsk sea is perhaps for naval purposes, finding a suitable route and seabed to hid their nuclear submarines to ambush US,Japan naval vessels! Russia rarely cares about their far east unless for military purposes, just like they does in the Arctic!

The Russian comes from the North, the Chinese from the south.....a joint submarine warfares between the two Communist power!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Okhotsk sea is Russian territories even those surveying is for Naval purposes that's still their business, Japan's protest is unprofound!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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