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Putin says Russia ready for talks with Japan over disputed islands

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Putin is of course very clever. He is attempting to knock Japan off the US-EU anti-Russia bloc on the Ukraine issue by dangling what Japan wants most from Russia. Of course the best that Russia will ever agree to would be returning the lower two islands anyway. Sales of Natural Gas to Japan instead of EU are also in his mind. You almost have to respect, even if you don't agree with Russia's chess play diplomacy. Especially when reading about China's 6th grader level bull-in-a-china-shop approach to diplomacy on a daily basis.

7 ( +17 / -9 )

Gas and oil from Russia would be of immense benefit to Japan. A feeder off the main pipe that is being built to China would let Japan have a half century of supply-get negotiating now Japan!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Of course the best that Russia will ever agree to would be returning the lower two islands anyway

Exactly, but Japanese wanna all islands back, which will be impossible, because russian will consider it as total loss. When Putin will return 2 islands he can at least claim that it's decision by Soviet-Japanese Joint Declaration from 1956. 2 islands is only option, when Japan return some territory.

Also Russina Ministry of Defence decided to rebuilt infrastructure on 2 other island, which Russia don't wanna return. So 99,9% that Russia will never return all islands, only 2 of them.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

They took Crimea from Ukraine so now they might give us some of the 4 islands back ? He really is playing the politics like we play a game of chess...

We should make a deal even if it's just 2 of the islands. We don't want to piss off Putin and also we will never get all the islands back anyways.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Crimea from Ukraine

Ukraine took Crimea from Russia, which were given to Ukraine in 1954 by Hrushev, who was ukrainian. Hrushev violated laws of USSR by his decision. Also Crimea is more than 200 years is base of Russian fleet. Independent Ukraine from 2002 started intimidation of Russia and Russian fleet by attempts to join NATO, so It's some kind of punishment, because Ukraine always threatened Russia. It's better to save your fleet base than trying to keep good relationaship with russophobic country, which Ukraine were from first day of independence.

South Kuril islands are in other situation and giving back 2 islands is not problem. I think it will be not problem to come back to Kuril Islands talks next year or 2 years later. But what will be after 5 years? Because relationship between Russia and China, also between Russia and South Korea may became much more better and important that relationships between Russia and Japan. And in this situation better not to talk with Japan about territorial disputes and tacitly support China and South Korea in their territorial disputes.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Putin is of course very clever. He is attempting to knock Japan off the US-EU anti-Russia bloc on the Ukraine issue by dangling what Japan wants most from Russia.

There is probably some truth to that. They like Japan because it acts as a counter-balance against China with whom the Russians have a complicated relationship, on the other hand they're not so hot over the fact that the country is under the US' sphere of influence.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It would be tempting to settle for 2 islands, but difficult for a Japanese politician to do that. He will be seen as giving away the other 2 islands. I agree there's little chance of getting all 4 islands, but as long as there are Japanese people living with a direct claim to that land, it's difficult to compromise.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

“Any solution should not hurt the interests of either side and any compromise should not make either of the sides feel defeated,” Putin said.

Very funny and laughable, Putin told the west Russia is not involved in Ukraine situation, are his words for real?

Two follow-up questions: a. Is Abe able to learn any lessons from past since he has taken a good dose of blue-pill and red-pill already? b. Can Abe spend some his time to work on the urgent problems Japan really needs to address ASAP ? BTW, Abe has promised structure reforms long time ago and TPP , too but nothing has really delivered.

Spending time with Pop or Putin would not change the crux of issues in Japan.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Its a nice carrot to dangle, but unless Putin is prepared to give Japan all the northern territories (not just the Habomai rocks) then negotiations are dead-in-the-water before they can begin.

Japan should settle for nothing less than the Northern Territories full return, and I'm pretty sure that is exactly what Japan will do.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

This is just more of th same old Russian carrot-and-stick crap they always pull I regard to these stolen islands. If they had any intention of returning the lower 2 back to Japan, why would they beef up e military presence on Shikotan? And the 1956 deal was abrogated by the Russia's themselves so saying that it is still valid and negotiations based on it can be held are complete and utter rubbish and a prime example of "Putin speak with fork tounge".

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Mr. Putin, why not put a condition for Japan to return the "Senkakus" back to China as a condition for any of the Northern Kuril islands. (a thank you to China for doing business with us). But the problem with Japan is that is is too greedy. It wants everything it sees around it. Then Japan does not have to waste so much money in stirring trouble in Asia.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

Now this is interesting. The USA has an aliance with Japan in order to have a military presence next to China, Russia and North Korea. If Japan does a deal for all the islands we would get a very different dynamic. It would also play into Abe desire to ramp up the Japanese army.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Kungaa MergenMay. 25, 2014 - 07:51AM JST "Of course the best that Russia will ever agree to would be returning the lower two islands anyway Exactly, but Japanese wanna all islands back, which will be impossible..

What makes you say that? Japan almost agreed to the return of just the two lower islands once before. The deal was wrecked by the U.S. suggesting that a return of Okinawa may not be in the cards if Japan went ahead with it. Today, it's up in the air what the U.S. position would be. While Russia is certainly more of an adversary than an ally by any stretch of the imagination,. it isn't the middle of the Cold War either.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Japan needs to return the islands, these islands do not belong to Japan. Also they lost the war.

-10 ( +5 / -14 )

Japan, better be on guard...Putin is a very wily adversary.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The USA has an aliance with Japan in order to have a military presence next to China, Russia and North Korea.

USA has got the lesson from Cuban crisis for counter installation of missiles base in Cuba. If US base is too close to Russia, Russia will repeat the history again. Russia has shot down two U-2 planes during the crisis. The response from President John F Kennedy was we forgave you whatever you have don if your base leave from Cuba.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_missile_crisis

It is better for US of the A does not poke the Bee nest again. Currently PRC balletic missiles are targeting the US bases around the Japan. Of course! US can easily strike back. However Japanese civilians have already been wiped out before that.

The more base means the more body bags of Civilians.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Putin is a man of steel who keep his words as concrete. I have no doubt that Japan will get back some of long lost islands.

2 ( +5 / -4 )

This is just more of th same old Russia carrot-and-stick crap they always pull I regard to these stolen islands.

You must, at least, to show respect to your neighbour in international relations. China did it. As as result, in 2008 chinese got an island located in Amur river. Japanese leadership behaves like a cheap hooker, jumping from one side of street to another. Abe had joined Putin in opening ceremony at Sochi Olympics but later followed the US political course in imposing of anti-Russian sanctions. As Americans like to repeat : 'You are either with us or against us'. That is why Putin said his words. Stay as US boneless loyal servants or establish much more friendly relations with Russia. Russians will never give any islands to hostile side.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Putin likes and respects Japan thanks to his judo skills (in a Steven Seagal-like kind of way). He learned about give and take in judo and how to get the best possible outcome. But Japan taught him these things so negotiations could turn out to be interesting and possibly mutually beneficial.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Russians will NEVER give the islands back. Putin will string Abe along to get some kind of economic benefit. Prime Minister, DON'T be miss led.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Gas and oil from Russia would be of immense benefit to Japan. A feeder off the main pipe that is being built to China would let Japan have a half century of supply-get negotiating now Japan!

kurisupisu -- nonsense. All that will do is make Japan subject to the same kind of political/diplomatic/economic coersion that Russia has waged on countries like Ukraine based on oil/gas supplies. Anyone who wants to get in bed with Putin is a moron.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

What are you people talking about? What is there to talk about?

The single most important factor here is what the people living there want. All there is to do is set up a poll and prepare for a possible changeover.

Putin and the Japanese government can go do you know what to themselves. Its the people that matter. Stop bending over for the power mongers please.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

“We are ready for talks,” Putin told a group of foreign journalists at the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. “Is Japan ready? I’m not yet sure myself.”

Do not get sucked in unless Russia is ready to give up all islands to Japan. Japan needs to keep it mind that these islands were STOLEN by them. Putin should not be trusted, PERIOD.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

“Is Japan ready? I’m not yet sure myself.”

It'll be interesting to see Japan's response to this given that the tables have been turned on Japan's usual, "Hey, yeah, I just visited Yasukuni, but I'm ready for peace! aren't you?" kind of actions. There's literally nothing they can say or do short of backing down on sanctions against Russia and going tail-between-legs to the table for talks.

globalwatcher: " Japan needs to keep it mind that these islands were STOLEN by them. Putin should not be trusted, PERIOD."

The islands are Russian territory, PERIOD. They were the spoils of war, taken in the waning days of WWII before Russia and Japan recognized an end to it. They weren't 'stolen', and they have been owned and administered, and lived on by Russia for ages. Japan should take what it can get, which at the moment is next to nil.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

If Japan doesn't grow a pair and actually negotiate for the lower 2, instead of using their SOP of dissembling like they do on trade agreements where they only allow 1 way trade, then the Siberian gas pipeline will go to SK instead of Japan. Those negotiations are at an advanced stage in allowing the pipeline to go through NK in exchange for siphoning off 2% of the gas. As usual Japan wants a 1 way street only in every dealing with every country on earth. All islands or no deal. Our markets completely closed and free total access to your markets. Geez.......what an ally.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan needs to keep in mind that these islands were STOLEN

You can see no big rallies of Japanese people, demanding to return Northern Territories in front of Russian embassy. Only small groups of right-wing extremists, riding on microbuses. They gather, screaming slogans and insults in one day of February only. But you can see thousands of Okinawans, demanding to return their native land, seized by American military bases back to native people. Their soil had definitely been stolen by Americans.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Do not get sucked in unless Russia is ready to give up all islands to Japan. Japan needs to keep it mind that these islands were STOLEN by them. Putin should not be trusted, PERIOD.

Okinawa was stolen by US? Yeah, of course, US "give back" islands to Japan(de-jure, de-facto there are still US army bases). USSR and US were winner in the war. Not only US defeated Japan in sea, but also USSR in China, Korea, Sakhalin, Kuril islands. Winner can occupy all territory, which he want, so USSR did with South Kuril and US did with Okinawa and other territories. It's right of winner. If you wanna challenge with this right, so you should fight one more, welcome to Russo-Japanese war 2? Actually after first Russo-Japanese war Japan occupied South Sakhalin and all Kuril islands, so why Russia can not occupy South Kuril? And Japan was lucky that USSR didn't occupied Hokkaido, for example.

It's realpolitic, my japanese friends. If you wanna get back territory you should go and take it by your gun and blood. Russia get back South Sakhalin and Russian Kuril islands from Japan not by negotiations. US wanna protect his important geopolitical interests? US send his army, which will fight. Great Britain wanna get back his territory from Argentina? It will send his fleet to win and protect them!

South Korea offer to Japan 0 islands, China wanna get all Senkaku, no compromise. Even Taiwan claims that Senkaku is chinese territory. Japan offers 0 islands to neither to China or Taiwan, no compromise, Japan even does not negate claims to Dokdo rocks, no compromise. And here we are, Russia offer 2 islands. It's great generosity, actually in comparement to other countries. And it's only option, when Japan's territory becoming bigger. Or maybe you, my dear japanese friend, will come and try to get back by gun and blood? Russia will offer you great zinc-lined coffins.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Putin realized that economic potential worth far more then the islands and also he realized that Russia is too much isolated and he also realize that Russia- China alliance may not work it out in case of global conflict and that is why he is reaching out to Japan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Russia is too much isolated and he also realize that Russia- China alliance may not work it out in case of global conflict and that is why he is reaching out to Japan.

Too much isolated in East Asia is Japan, which has bad relationship with Russia, China, both of Korea. Also, why Russia should expect that there will be Russia-Japan alliance? Japan entirely depends on U.S., and there will be more chance to make alliance between Russia and China rather than with Japan. Also, Russia still has nuclear bombs to destroy half of the world and one of the biggest army in the world. Likely that Russia can stay by own.

So it's mostly economy and trying to keep balance in region, which probably can became place of big conflict.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Sidekick: "But you can see thousands of Okinawans, demanding to return their native land, seized by American military bases back to native people. Their soil had definitely been stolen by Americans."

Ummm... no, the 'soil' was given back to Japan (if you have a problem with that, speak to the central government), who stole it from the Ryukyus way back when. THAT was stealing, but you have about as much chance of successfully getting independence for the Ryukyus as a snowball has a chance in hell. The US gave the land back, and now Japan, more than ever, NEEDS the US presence on its islands to defend against China and other threats. So, no, you really don't see thousands of Okinawans protesting these days -- you really only see a few politicians venturing to Washington to complain about the bases in order to score political points with the people now hiding in fear of China, and while the central government and local governments (like Nakaima) AGREE to the bases and in fact hurry to get the deals finally going.

As for Russia and Japan on the Kuriles, it'll never happen. Japan will always unjustly demand all four islands and hold gas contracts and sanctions as a threat, while Russia will sit back, laugh, and hold the same things as threats to a nation that absolutely NEEDS the gas contracts and can't afford the sanctions, and has zero leverage as to the islands. Even when a politician here JOKED about accepting 3.5 of the islands back and allowing Russia to keep 0.5 of them, he got in serious trouble from the right wingers. It's all about collecting points, and sorry, but time is on Russia's side.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

You've got to admit, Putin knows a good carrot/stick when he sees one. By offering to settle the dispute, he puts the Abe government in a difficult situation - he can agree to negotiations and be seen as more reasonable in the international community, thereby strengthening Japan's position in relation to the Senkaku and Takeshima disputes; or he can refuse and make Japan seem antagonistic. Either way Putin's stature increases.

Chess vs. checkers.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What makes you say that? Japan almost agreed to the return of just the two lower islands once before. The deal was wrecked by the U.S. suggesting that a return of Okinawa may not be in the cards if Japan went ahead with it. Today, it's up in the air what the U.S. position would be. While Russia is certainly more of an adversary than an ally by any stretch of the imagination,. it isn't the middle of the Cold War either.

Russia offered to return back 2 islands in 2004 and always says that Soviet-Japanese Joint Declaration (first time, when USSR/Russia offered to give back 2 islands) will be best option. From 2008-2012 there wasn't negotiations, because president Medvedev didn't wanna give back islands. Japanese had a chance to get back 2 islands from 2000- to 2008 and from 2012 to nowadays, but they prefer to negotiating with 0 results than agree with offer of Putin and Russian MOFA.

Russia doesn't need Japan as an ally, Russia need only neighborly relationships, like relationships between Russia and South Korea.

All that will do is make Japan subject to the same kind of political/diplomatic/economic coersion that Russia has waged on countries like Ukraine based on oil/gas supplies. Anyone who wants to get in bed with Putin is a moron.

Yeah, Germany, Italy, Turkey, China are morons! Russia never stopped gas supply by own decision, it always was problem of Ukraine. First gas war between Russia and Ukraine started when Ukraine unilaterally demanded improve transit payments, while Ukraine received at $ 50 per cubic meter, when other European countries received at $150-200. Second gas war also started because of ukraininan demands. Only with Ukraine there are such problems, other 20-25 receivers of Russian gas has no problem. So anyone who wants to get in bed with ukrainian politicians is a moron.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Clever Putin this is one way to divert attention away from the Ukraine for now. Russia objective is to gain more territories look at recent events in Crimea and Ukraine. What make Japan think that they are going to give back Japan disputed islands, and what is there for them? No nations ever give up disputed land without a war.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I hope Japan considers this. In the long term it would be best and beneficial to build better relations with Russia. At the same time, Japan needs to get out of the shadow of influence of the war-mongering US, which it has been under for so long. Brokering a natural gas deal with Russia, becoming more self-sufficient, strengthening its military, fostering stronger ties with other Asian countries against China, etc. would be better for Japan than being an eternal puppet of the USA and its war-hungry, imperialist policies.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

If a thief steals my handbag why should I have to negotiate its recovery?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I've spoken to regular Japanese people about what a practical settlement of this issue would look like and I found that the underlying assumption is that all the Russians who live there will just pack up and leave. The reality is that most will want to stay for economic reasons and any settlement would have to take into account the cultural, linguistic and property rights of those who live there now. The UN would insist on this. It would require giving everyone on the islands Japanese citizenship and changing Japanese law to recognise Russian as an official minority language in order to provide schooling and other government services to the people there. I think these smaller details, rather than geopolitics, are what make any resolution of this issue completely unlikely.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@OssanAmerica Japan almost agreed to the return of just the two lower islands once before. The deal was wrecked by the U.S.

So now, you may weak up to know what is the US thinking. Still hope the US fight for Japan against Russia and China on the disputes?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If 'talks' ever materialised, they would have to involve the permanent residents of the disputed islands. Off the top of my toast and marmalade, I can't think of a successful example in modern political history. Putin is desperate to deflect political attention on the eve of Ukraine's presidential elections.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Take back 3 islands in the north, forfeit Dokto, protect Senkakus against ridiculous Chinese aggression

3 ( +5 / -2 )

And by talks, he means they will hold a staged referendum to annex Hokkaido into Russia.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

And by talks, he means they will hold a staged referendum to annex Hokkaido into Russia.

To be honest, Hokkaido natives are nothing related with Japanese. They are Ainu of Caucasian descendants. If Putin wants to annex Hokkaido, there is no point for him to return neighboring some islands of NT.

BTW, Okinawa has been 53rd states of US for 69 yrs. Whilst Russia is so generous with Japan in the north, US is not willing to move out from south despite the hostile protests.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Octagon

What are states 51 and 52?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The islands are Russian territory, PERIOD. They were the spoils of war,

Funny that. The Russians raped and murdered their way across the islands after an unprovoked declaration of war in the days before Japan's surrender. By that standard, all invading countries have a right to whatever they can grab, as long as they win. Imperialist?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@lucabrasi

Guam ( 549 sq km) and America Samoa(199 sq km) plus America Virgin Islands( 346.4 sq Km). They may be too small for being qualified as statehood of US. However they are still larger than the smallest nations on that earth. For example, Palau is one of the smallest nation with 496.24 sq km(191.6 sq miles). Therefore size does not matter as being counted as state.

http://geography.about.com/cs/countries/a/smallcountries.htm

1 ( +1 / -0 )

after an unprovoked declaration of war

Obligations at Potsdam Conference to allies such as U.S., Great Britain. So japanese should ask for it to closest ally - U.S. :) They also should ask for using nuclear bomb and other funny things, such as raping girls in Okinawa.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is all business. Russia buys oil from /China, then Putin plans to sell these oil to Japan.

Instead, Japan buys oil from Iran without middleman country. US will dislike but which is better? Chinese oil through Russia or Iran? Pipeline. Japan Inc can build better one than China and safer one than US had.'

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Nathaw: Putin is a man of steel who keep his words as concrete. I have no doubt that Japan will get back some of long lost islands.

What a load of rot you do talk. Russia has just stolen Crimea from Ukraine and is in the process of stealing more territory from it in the east, do you really think Putin will suddenly turn around and return any of those islands to Japan?

Sidekick: You must, at least, to show respect to your neighbour in international relations. China did it. As as result, in 2008 chinese got an island located in Amur river. Japanese leadership behaves like a cheap hooker, jumping from one side of street to another. Abe had joined Putin in opening ceremony at Sochi Olympics but later followed the US political course in imposing of anti-Russian sanctions. As Americans like to repeat : 'You are either with us or against us'. That is why Putin said his words. Stay as US boneless loyal servants or establish much more friendly relations with Russia. Russians will never give any islands to hostile side.

You want to talk about respect? What about the saying "Respect is earned, not given"? Moscow has done nothing to earn respect from Japan. And as for this deal in the Amur river, China got territory from Moscow and settling THAT dispute was to get relation between Moscow and Beijing sorted so they could get on with the gas and oil deals. And speaking of hostile sides, Russia has also been hostile to Japan in regards to this dispute with the repeated border violations and publicly backing Beijing it it's dispute with Japan over the Senkaku Islands

Kungaa Mergen: What makes you say that? Japan almost agreed to the return of just the two lower islands once before. The deal was wrecked by the U.S. suggesting that a return of Okinawa may not be in the cards if Japan went ahead with it. Today, it's up in the air what the U.S. position would be. While Russia is certainly more of an adversary than an ally by any stretch of the imagination,. it isn't the middle of the Cold War either.

Russia offered to return back 2 islands in 2004 and always says that Soviet-Japanese Joint Declaration (first time, when USSR/Russia offered to give back 2 islands) will be best option. From 2008-2012 there wasn't negotiations, because president Medvedev didn't wanna give back islands. Japanese had a chance to get back 2 islands from 2000- to 2008 and from 2012 to nowadays, but they prefer to negotiating with 0 results than agree with offer of Putin and Russian MOFA.

What a lot of rot you do talk, Russia did not and had no intention of returning any of the STOLEN islands back toJapan in 2004, now or ever

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Is Putin ready to admit that the Russians stole the islands at the end of WW2?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Russia never stopped gas supply by own decision, it always was problem of Ukraine.

Kungaa Mergen -- that is only a small part of the issue. Russia/Putin was emboldened to do as it pleased in Crimea because of its energy position. Many of the major European countries, especially Germany, had its hand-tied when it came to backing strong sanctions due to its reliance on Russia for gas. And don't think he would not use this power in a minute with Japan in the future if it benefited him.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Oh Putin :( after showing us the crisis u did in Ukraine who would want to Negotiate with You?.....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Russia has just stolen Crimea from Ukraine and is in the process of stealing more territory from it in the east.

Just hysterics

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Few key points should be pointed out here: 1. Putin is not a trustworthy person in the first place. Like Abe Putin does lots of flip-and-flop. 2. Putin’s primary intent definitely is not to return the islands to Japan if he meant what he has said he would spell out all of the strings attached. 3. Abe and his nationalistic followers have been somewhat delusional when it comes to dealing with Russia.

Please don’t forget, Abe and Putin has met five times already, yet not a single agreement is signed. Why ? It’s clear that Russia is keen in hooking Japan for something else.

For Russians, the Japan appears to be the most easy target to scam: Japan is worried, isolated and confused as China is increasingly becoming assertive, not to mention it is not afraid to flex its economic and military muscles in Asia

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Now is not the time to negotiate over these islands, it is only an attempt to drive a wedge between Japan and its western allies, Russia will just string Japan along and then force it to choose between some of the islands or its alliance with the US and of course Japan will go with the alliance, so a complete and humiliating waste of time. Furthermore Putin is the last Russian leader that will give up any territory.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Russia has just stolen Crimea from Ukraine

Once again : crimean people were living in Autonomous Region of the Ukraine since 1954. Before 1954 they were citizens of Russian Federation of the USSR. Therefore, they had all rights and reasons to organize a referendum. Also, they had all rights to decide whether they should join Russia or stay in the Ukraine. By the way, they weren't obliged to ask a permission from Obama or his european servants. Please, find any book of international law, printed for US high school students and educate yourself a bit.

and is in the process of stealing more territory from it in the east

Did you mean Novorossiya state? It has been formed by inhabitants of Donetsk and Lugansk regions of the Ukraine, i.e. mostly by Ukranians. Russia has nothing to do with it. You should read and understand more languages except your native North American dialect of English. It would be helpful to understand information from Ukranian or Russians sources of news.

Moscow has done nothing to earn respect from Japan

LOL. Are you a Japanese person to judge? No? Would you please tone it down then? At least, Soviets weren't that brutal creatures to bomb innocent women and children in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Is Putin ready to admit that the Russians stole the islands at the end of WWII?

Hardly. The islands were seized in a battle with Japanese garrison, deployed on mentioned island. Putin is not obliged to admit anything. Stop sound like a Korean politician who demands an apology from Japanese side again and again.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

By that standard, all invading countries have a right to whatever they can grab, as long as they win. Imperialist?

No. It's called right of conquest, and before the establishment of the UN, it was an accepted component of international law.

I don't disagree that the islands are Japanese territory, but the law as it was is on Russia's side. If they give even one island back, it's a coup for Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

gaijinheiwaMay. 25, 2014 - 09:30AM JST Japan needs to return the islands, these islands do not belong to Japan. Also they lost the war.

Return them to whom? Try reading the article before posting anything.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Kungaa Mergen -- that is only a small part of the issue. Russia/Putin was emboldened to do as it pleased in Crimea because of its energy position. Many of the major European countries, especially Germany, had its hand-tied when it came to backing strong sanctions due to its reliance on Russia for gas. And don't think he would not use this power in a minute with Japan in the future if it benefited him.

How does Russia use his position of gas-supplier with Germany? Russia did not nothing with Germany, not even threatened to stop suppliment and try to collapse Germanese economy. Or you consider fears of germanese people that gas sanction to Russia will collapse not only Russia's, but also Germany's economy, as a manipulation of Putin? Haha, so yeah, in this case to country will be better has 0 connection with another countries, because economical connections will discourage reckless actions.

What a lot of rot you do talk, Russia did not and had no intention of returning any of the STOLEN islands back toJapan in 2004, now or ever

Lavrov, minister of foreign afairs of Russia, offered that Russia could talk with Japan about territorial dispute relying on previous agreements. Translation from diplomatical language to normal: we offer to you start talks and solve issue by depending on Soviet-Japanese Joint Declaration. That time Japan ignored propose of Russia. Russia always suggested, but japanese diplomats behaved as a selfish childs and offered 0 suggestions of solving problem except "give back all islands". U.S. maybe can give back all occupied islands, but Russia/USSR is not U.S. Why Russia even should give back island to aggressive country (Japan has territorial dusputes with all 4 country in East Asia, Russia has territorial disputes only with Japan)?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sidekick: "Stop sound like a Korean politician who demands an apology from Japanese side again and again."

Wow, talk about undermining your credibility (forgetting you refer to Europe as Obama's "servants"). You have some issues, bud. Sadly for you, though, and the few wingers on your side, the issue of the islands won't be solved until there is actually a two-way street in terms of negotiations. Japan needs to stop asking for exceptions around the world when demanding their way, but more importantly they need to realize that these islands are Russian, and they'll be lucky to catch a whiff.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Or you consider fears of germanese people that gas sanction to Russia will collapse not only Russia's, but also Germany's economy, as a manipulation of Putin?

Kungaa -- thank you, you made my point for me. Yes, the German's were reluctant to put strong sanctions in place on Rusia regarding Crimea because of sensitivity of the gas supply, as well as other economic ties. So if Japan wants to put itself in that same position, fine. That is their choice. But anyone who thinks Putin doesn't factor all of this into his thinking regarding international politics is simply naive. He is a bully, and the power he has now, since as Obama said, Russia is just a regional power, is gas.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

"Once again : crimean people were living in Autonomous Region of the Ukraine since 1954. Before 1954 they were citizens of Russian Federation of the USSR. Therefore, they had all rights and reasons to organize a referendum. Also, they had all rights to decide whether they should join Russia or stay in the Ukraine"

But after 1954 they were citizens of Ukraine, no?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I predict the Japan side will demand all four of the so-called Northern Territories and won't even offer to pay for the other two. They will spout some nonsense about "integral Japanese territory" while completely ignoring two things 1) that Japan stole those islands from the Ainu along with Hokkaido and 2) that Japan had no qualms about taking all the islands up to Kamchatcka in 1875.

Historically its always been about cutting a deal and spoils of war with these islands. At the very least Japan should recognize its weak position in this negotiation due to losing WWII and pay for those islands back. That way, no further indemnity to Russia. Fail to pay, and Russia will always so how nice they were to give the islands back.

As for any unfairness with Russia taking the islands and attacking Japan in the first place, it was agreed that Russia would help the Allies with Japan some months after Germany surrendered. Russia kept their side of the deal to the day. And Japan had already attacked Russia during the war once and actually prepared to do so again before changing its mind. And like I say, the islands have always been about negotiation and spoils of war.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

but more importantly they need to realize that these islands are Russian

The vast majority of Japanese people already realized it. Futher, they do not bother at all if some uninhabited rocks located in cold waters far north belong to Russia or somebody else. But if you mean a rather small group of Japanese politicians, then yes, I fully agree with you. They NEED stop depending from the USA in a course of foreign policy and MUST realize that 'there is actually a two-way street in terms of negotiations'.

But after 1954 they were citizens of Ukraine, no?

Since 1991 they were citizens of Autonomous Republic of Crimea in the Ukraine. Autonomous Republic had it's own Parlament. Recently members of mentioned Parlament of Crimea decided to form 'self-defence forces' to defend locals of neonazis and radicals from Western Ukraine and organize a referendum. The role of deployed Russian troops was quite secondary. They helped local self-defence forces to support Law and Order. Therefore, nobody had burnt people alive as it took place later inside a building in Odessa, a city located in 'democratic, pro-Europe' Western Ukraine.

He has now, since as Obama said, Russia is a regional power, is gas.

Obama looks out more like a village fool who talks various senceless rubbish. A 'regional power' has enough power to counter-weight the USA and Euroservants in World political affairs.

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Sidekick: LOL. Are you a Japanese person to judge? No? Would you please tone it down then? At least, Soviets weren't that brutal creatures to bomb innocent women and children in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

My point is still valid, Russia had done NOTHING to earn one IOTA of respect from Japan. Offering "talks" on he islands is just offering Japan false hope that it will be able to regain any of them.

Kungaa Mergen: Lavrov, minister of foreign afairs of Russia, offered that Russia could talk with Japan about territorial dispute relying on previous agreements. Translation from diplomatical language to normal: we offer to you start talks and solve issue by depending on Soviet-Japanese Joint Declaration. That time Japan ignored propose of Russia. Russia always suggested, but japanese diplomats behaved as a selfish childs and offered 0 suggestions of solving problem except "give back all islands". U.S. maybe can give back all occupied islands, but Russia/USSR is not U.S. Why Russia even should give back island to aggressive country (Japan has territorial dusputes with all 4 country in East Asia, Russia has territorial disputes only with Japan)?

Is there any PROOF of this? Russia has said similar things in the past but always found a way to back out of it. And the last time any such offer was made, it was RUSSIA that abrogated the treaty, not Japan. Besides, how can they base negotiations on the 1956 treaty when Putin said that Russia will now give Japan back no territory? And Japan is not aggressive, yes they have territorial disputes with others in East Asia, but they are not aggressive, unlike the USSR/Russian Federation.

smithinjapan: Wow, talk about undermining your credibility (forgetting you refer to Europe as Obama's "servants"). You have some issues, bud. Sadly for you, though, and the few wingers on your side, the issue of the islands won't be solved until there is actually a two-way street in terms of negotiations. Japan needs to stop asking for exceptions around the world when demanding their way, but more importantly they need to realize that these islands are Russian, and they'll be lucky to catch a whiff.

First of all, what the blue blazes could Japan offer Russia that would get Russia to return any of the islands? Last time they so graciously offered to return two of them, it was dependant on Japan abrogating the Security Alliance with the US. And second, if the islands are Russian and as you say "they'll be lucky to catch a whiff." I ask you what the BLOODY hell is there to talk about? This is just Moscow carrot-&-sticking Japan over he islands while not making any concrete guarantees that they will actually return any of them.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

But after 1954 they were citizens of Ukraine, no?

They were citizens of USSR. They thought that decision of Hushev is just formality, they never thoungt that in 1991 they'll becaome citizens of Ukraine.

Is there any PROOF of this?

If you can not find proof because of your laziness of lack of knowledge it doesn't mean, that there is no proof. In site of Japanese embassy in Moscow. Search, read, if you understand Russian. Not everything written in english wikipedia. In site of Japanese embassy there is good chronology of talks about South Kuril islands.

Japan is not aggressive

Yeah, visiting Yasukuni, trying to change laws and status of JSDF - they're just pretending to be peacefull. Just let them behave that they want and they'll start sending their troops to "protect peace" and help "peaceful ally U.S." somewhere in Middle East or Eastern Asia :)

since as Obama said, Russia is just a regional power

Yeah, listen more yout black master, Obama, who received Nobel Peace Prize and killed people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, wanna send "democratical bombs" to Syria. That's regional power, as Obama said, can still destroy US with nuclear bombs. So, yeah, good to be regional power :)

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Jay Wilson MAY. 25, 2014 - 09:15PM JST

What a load of rot you do talk.

How could I? Putin is someone who can be predictable as stand alone Eagle. He is not backstabbing from behind with narrow Geo political agenda. He is the man of honor and dignity.

Russia has just stolen Crimea from Ukraine and is in the process of stealing more territory from it in the east

Would you mind I correct your sentence as Russia has democratically fulfilled the will of the residents of Crimea? BTW Crimea was given to Ukraine as gift from USSR in 1957. In theory, it is easy to judge as process of stealing more eastern territory because of ethnic Russians unrest there. However those people are not the decision makers as Kremlin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1954_transfer_of_Crimea

do you really think Putin will suddenly turn around and return any of those islands to Japan?

It is not sudden turn around. During the 1956 peace talks between Japan and the Soviet Union, the Soviet side proposed to settle the dispute by returning Shikotan and Habomai to Japan. In the final round of the talks, the Japanese side accepted the weakness of its claim to Etorofu and Kunashiri and agreed to settle for return of Shikotan and the Habomais, in exchange for a peace treaty. However, the Americans intervened and blocked the deal.

Americans ruined Japanese dream of seeing Shikotan and Habomais becoming the territory of Japan back in 1956. US blackmailed Japan it would keep Okinawa as trophy if Japan went ahead and settled with USSR. The nightmare of US heavy handed intervention will revisit again in 2014. It has been full with jealousy, hatred and venom disregarding the Japan national interest.

In theory, Okinawa has been handed back to Japan because of that deal. Reality is Okinawa is still the 53rd states of US as Octagon posted. Japaneses needed to be wise enough for not falling the trap again. Otherwise NT dream will be ruined again as 1956.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Nathaw: How could I? Putin is someone who can be predictable as stand alone Eagle. He is not backstabbing from behind with narrow Geo political agenda. He is the man of honor and dignity.

How can he be a man of "honor and dignity" when he says that Russia will give Japan no territory while saying the Russian-abrogated 1956 deal is still valid?` If he had any "honor and dignity" then he would offer the return of two of the islands without any preconditions such as abrogating the Security Alliance with the US.

Nathaw: Japaneses needed to be wise enough for not falling the trap again. Otherwise NT dream will be ruined again as 1956.

It is already ruined as Putin has no intention of ever returning Shikotan and Habomai to Japan.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Nathaw: How could I? Putin is someone who can be predictable as stand alone Eagle. He is not backstabbing from behind with narrow Geo political agenda. He is the man of honor and dignity.

How can he be a man of "honor and dignity" when he says that Russia will give Japan no territory while saying the Russian-abrogated 1956 deal is still valid?` If he had any "honor and dignity" then he would offer the return of two of the islands without any preconditions such as abrogating the Security Alliance with the US.

Nathaw: Japaneses needed to be wise enough for not falling the trap again. Otherwise NT dream will be ruined again as 1956.

It is already ruined as Putin has no intention of ever returning Shikotan and Habomai to Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

My point is still valid, Russia had done nothing to earn one IOTA of respect from Japan.

Once again, the fact that you aren't either Japanese or Russian makes your assumptions about Russo-Japanese relations plain wrong. Japan helped a lot the USSR to build a vitally important infrastructure in Russian Far East, Sibaeria and Western regions. The COCOM act restricted Japan to sell a heavy machinery or steel pipes of large diameter to the USSR but anyway, Japanese did it. How would they sell eight milling computer-controlled machines to Russians without respect during Cold War times? After that Soviet submarines got new, 'silent' blades of propellers. Due to lack of noise, Soviet submarines became 'invisible' for US sonars.

Quote :"Television viewers in Japan saw an extraordinary news broadcast in the morning of July 2, 1987 : nine members of the US Congress were smashing a smal Toshiba radio with sledgehammers at a press conference on Capitol Hill. The congressmen were expressing their anger at the Toshiba Machinery of Japan, which had violated regulations of COCOM...by selling EIGHT computer-guided multiaxis milling machines to the Soviet Union. The equipment permitted the Soviets to mass-produce a more silent propeller to their submarines and thus avoid detection by many of the current US methods.One Pentagon official estimated that it woul cost the United States some $30 billion to regain the technological superiority lost in the illegal sale."

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Does Putin want Japan to buy the islands (at least the 2?) He might want Japan to throw in Senkaku so he can give it to China as a token of their new found friendship?? Whatever it is the ball is in Japan's court now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@25psotMAY. 25, 2014 - 12:23PM JST Putin realized that economic potential worth far more then the islands and also he realized that Russia is too much isolated and he also realize that Russia- China alliance may not work it out in case of global conflict and that is why he is reaching out to Japan

;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Excellent analysis.

Putin was born in 1952. He did not steal Kuril (Chishima Retto) from Japan in 1945. China is trying to make Russia for its side but Puttin is not stupid. He wants to be with Japan than China that had to beg Mitsubishi to modernize its industry.

..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As noted by others here, Putin has no intention of returning the northern islands. Putin's just stringing the Japanese along to try and get something out of it which benefits the Russians.

It's a good thing MacArthur told the Russians to back off when they demanded Hokkaido at the end of WWII.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sidekick: Once again, the fact that you aren't either Japanese or Russian makes your assumptions about Russo-Japanese relations plain wrong. Japan helped a lot the USSR to build a vitally important infrastructure in Russian Far East, Sibaeria and Western regions. The COCOM act restricted Japan to sell a heavy machinery or steel pipes of large diameter to the USSR but anyway, Japanese did it. How would they sell eight milling computer-controlled machines to Russians without respect during Cold War times?

Selling tech to the Soviets is beside the point, Russia has not done a SINGLE thing to earn one IOTA of respect from Japan. Can you PROVE that Russia earned respect from Japan? Of course you can't because those island stealing barbarians in Moscow have not and NEVER WILL do anything to earn respect from Japan. The sooner you understand this, the better.

stormcrow: As noted by others here, Putin has no intention of returning the northern islands. Putin's just stringing the Japanese along to try and get something out of it which benefits the Russians. It's a good thing MacArthur told the Russians to back off when they demanded Hokkaido at the end of WWII.

Exactly.....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Jay WilsonMay. 28, 2014 - 02:54AM JST Russia has not done a SINGLE thing to earn one IOTA of respect from Japan. Can you PROVE that Russia earned respect from Japan?

Russia does not have to as long as they export what Japan needs the most, which is oil and natural gas. Both Japan and China are net energy importers while Russia is one of the world’s largest energy exporters. Japan's strategic relationship with Russia would also send a message to China. Both countries maintain robust trading relationships with China and do not want confrontation, but they also do not want a Sino-centric continent. As China continues to emerge, Japan will need to seek new strategic relationships in the region. Russia and Japan are strengthening energy cooperation through joint development of a pipeline in Eastern Siberia that would bring Russian gas to the Japanese market. They also have agreed to continue development of energy projects on the Russian island of Sakhalin. There are many other significant common interests between the two countries. Of course, the Kurile Island dispute will continue to be the center of the problem. Until this issue is resolved, and the WWII peace agreement is reached, the trade between two countries will move at a stagnent pace.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sfjp330: Russia does not have to as long as they export what Japan needs the most, which is oil and natural gas. Both Japan and China are net energy importers while Russia is one of the world’s largest energy exporters. Japan's strategic relationship with Russia would also send a message to China. Both countries maintain robust trading relationships with China and do not want confrontation, but they also do not want a Sino-centric continent. As China continues to emerge, Japan will need to seek new strategic relationships in the region. Russia and Japan are strengthening energy cooperation through joint development of a pipeline in Eastern Siberia that would bring Russian gas to the Japanese market. They also have agreed to continue development of energy projects on the Russian island of Sakhalin. There are many other significant common interests between the two countries. Of course, the Kurile Island dispute will continue to be the center of the problem. Until this issue is resolved, and the WWII peace agreement is reached, the trade between two countries will move at a stagnent pace.

And as long as the dispute continues, Russia should shut the hell up about Japan investing in the islands

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Jay WilsonMay. 26, 2014 - 09:42PM JST How can he be a man of "honor and dignity" when he says that Russia will give Japan no territory while saying the Russian-abrogated 1956 deal is still valid?` If he had any "honor and dignity" then he would offer the return of two of the islands without any preconditions such as abrogating the Security Alliance with the US.

Do you know the total land space of Shikotan and Habomai? Two islands is misleading since these islands covers only 8 percent of the total land that Russians took. If Russia keeps other two islands that accounts for 92 percent of the land, you would call it "honor and dignity"?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He sure is a clever fellow, wish our leaders could get some of his smarts. It is clear that apple polishing for America is not in the best interests of Japan. Perhaps we should drop the sanctions and stop making the Russians mad.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

sfjp330: Do you know the total land space of Shikotan and Habomai? Two islands is misleading since these islands covers only 8 percent of the total land that Russians took. If Russia keeps other two islands that accounts for 92 percent of the land, you would call it "honor and dignity"?

Yes, I knew that Shikotan and Habomai cover 8 percent of the islands in question, and what i meant by "honour and dignity" was that Putin should offer the return of these two islands without conditions

YuriOtani: He sure is a clever fellow, wish our leaders could get some of his smarts. It is clear that apple polishing for America is not in the best interests of Japan. Perhaps we should drop the sanctions and stop making the Russians mad

Sanctions against Russia or no sanctions against Russia, you have to be deluded if you think that Putin has any intentions of solving this dispute. Kissing Moscow's rear end will get Japan nothing except a rash

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Suppose it is just like kissing American backside. I mean a respectful exchange between our two countries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Selling tech to the Soviets is beside the point

Oh, really? Why ? The US goverment had restricted to sell any strategic equipment to Soviets during Cold War and Japanese Toshiba Corporation sold those milling machines despite a huge wave of anger from the USA. Soviets submarines got new blades for propellers and became invisible for US sonars. Was it a sign of respect from Japanese people to Soviet neighbours? Yes, it definitely was.

Russia has not done a single thing to earn one IOTA of respect from Japan.

Again, you're making a lot of assumptions.

Can you PROVE that Russia earned respect from Japan?

Yes, easily. Recently authorities of Tsushima prefecture has officially invited President Putin to arrive and join a memory service on Tsushima island, dedicated to fallen soldiers of Russia and Japan. Isn't it a sign of respect? Yes, it is. Further, in 2012 a Governor of Akita prefecture, Norihisa Satake made a gift to Vladimir Putin by giving him a puppy of dog. A pure Japanese bride, by the way. Was it a sign of respect? Yes, it was. As for you, you seem to have no any idea what a respect is. Of course you can't

Nope. YOU can not to back your assumptions by valid evidences. All we can see from your side are plain emotions.

that island stealing barbarians in Moscow....Russia should shut the hell up...kissing Moscow's rear end...

Bud, for a representative of a country whose leaders had dropped atomic bombs on innocent civilians in Japanese cities instead of military target, you opened your mouth too wide, sounding too hysterical and loudly. Please, tone it down! Russo-Japanese relations aren't belong to your business, whether you like it or not.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sidekick: Oh, really? Why ? The US goverment had restricted to sell any strategic equipment to Soviets during Cold War and Japanese Toshiba Corporation sold those milling machines despite a huge wave of anger from the USA. Soviets submarines got new blades for propellers and became invisible for US sonars. Was it a sign of respect from Japanese people to Soviet neighbours? Yes, it definitely was.

Please explain to me how selling tech to the Soviets was a sign of respect? It was good BUSINESS SENSE but hardly a sign of respect

Sidekick: Again, you're making a lot of assumptions.

No, not assumptions, fact

Sidekick: Yes, easily. Recently authorities of Tsushima prefecture has officially invited President Putin to arrive and join a memory service on Tsushima island, dedicated to fallen soldiers of Russia and Japan. Isn't it a sign of respect? Yes, it is. Further, in 2012 a Governor of Akita prefecture, Norihisa Satake made a gift to Vladimir Putin by giving him a puppy of dog. A pure Japanese bride, by the way. Was it a sign of respect? Yes, it was. As for you, you seem to have no any idea what a respect is. Of course you can't

That was two governors, not the Japanese government. It's like the former Governor of New Mexico going to North Korea. Two governors kissing Putin's rear end got Japan WHAT exactly? NOTHING, NOT ONE DAM THING. The mayor of my town went to Buenos Aries and was all pally with President Kirchner but that did not resolve the dispute over the Falklands/Malvinas, the governors of Tsushima and Akita prefecture is just the same; a lot of butt kissing with NO visible results.

Sidekick: Bud, for a representative of a country whose leaders had dropped atomic bombs on innocent civilians in Japanese cities instead of military target, you opened your mouth too wide, sounding too hysterical and loudly. Please, tone it down! Russo-Japanese relations aren't belong to your business, whether you like it or not.

Who ever said I was American? And for your information my Japanese friend, I do know what respect it and I know that it is EARNED and not GIVEN.....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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