Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova listens during the annual news conference of the Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (not pictured) in Moscow, Russia January 16, 2019. Photo: REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
politics

Russia protests over G20 map it says showed disputed islands as Japan's

54 Comments
By Andrew Osborn, Andrey Ostroukh and Tom Balmforth

Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a formal diplomatic protest to Japan after accusing Tokyo of circulating a map at its G20 summit showing a disputed island chain as Japanese territory, the ministry's spokeswoman said on Thursday.

The islands - known as the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kuriles in Russia - have been controlled by Russia since the end of the World War Two and are the main reason the countries have not yet formally ended hostilities.

Japan hosted the Group of 20 summit in Osaka last month.

Maria Zakharova, the foreign ministry spokeswoman, said a note of diplomatic protest had been handed to a Japanese diplomat in Moscow on July 2.

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54 Comments
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Should just give them back.

10 ( +28 / -18 )

@Belrick No one is a winner in a war, Japan lost them because of the war and was offered 50% of them back by Russia but refused.

-1 ( +17 / -18 )

The G20 is held in Japan. Don't like it Russia, don't attend. The thief complaining that the rightful owner consider it it's own, in his own house.

-5 ( +24 / -29 )

gogogoToday  07:24 am JST

@Belrick No one is a winner in a war, Japan lost them because of the war and was offered 50% of them back by Russia but refused.

Japan had a choice of 50% of those islands, or 100% of Okinawa. They chose the latter. Obviously a smarter move.

14 ( +23 / -9 )

Japan has claimed ownership rights of so called Northern Territories. And G20 summit was held at Osaka Japan. That's all.

12 ( +22 / -10 )

Japan had a choice of 50% of those islands, or 100% of Okinawa. They chose the latter. Obviously a smarter move.

The smart move is for Japan to have all her sovereign territory including of her Northern Territories. Putin - hand back those islands NOW.

9 ( +26 / -17 )

Idiotic move from Japan, to say the least..

-9 ( +18 / -27 )

Oh, come on!

Stated this many times before, so I state it again:

Japan (like Germany) lost the war and both countries consequently lost territories.

The only one complaining about this is JAPAN!

Get over it, there are more important things to take care of!

-9 ( +20 / -29 )

LOL! China did this to many business organisations.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Yes, yes, protest noted. Now, where was the Crimea again?

10 ( +17 / -7 )

Go Japan!

5 ( +18 / -13 )

klausdorthToday  07:50 am JST

Oh, come on!

Stated this many times before, so I state it again:

Japan (like Germany) lost the war and both countries consequently lost territories.

The only one complaining about this is JAPAN!

Get over it, there are more important things to take care of!

This is a correct statement,but the Japanese government still makes a huge deal after over 70 years of the end of the war,forgetting that like Germany and Italy they both started the war.

And what should the German government and it's people say then?

Japan lost less than 1% of it's territories after the second conflict and it should consider this outcome very lucky and in favour.

Germany on the other hand not only got divided in two states but lost roughly 40% percent of it's land,and these are not former colonies or occupied zones.

West Prussia,East Prussia,Silesia etc.

https://www.quora.com/How-come-Germany-Austria-Italy-etc-didnt-lose-any-significant-territory-even-when-they-lost-in-WW2

But the new Germany was founded by the mistakes of it's fathers and accepting the political consequences of history due to it's mistakes.

Even Italy that was a lighter weight in the axis lost more land in the east,but never heard the Italian government asking to Slovenia or Croatia to get back it's lost province of Istria.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Istria

Japan should wake up from the past and start to live in the present,most of the foreign frictions with other neighborhoods are still because of a war that was fought almost a hundred years ago.

-7 ( +14 / -21 )

Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a formal diplomatic protest to Japan after accusing Tokyo of circulating a map at its G20 summit showing a disputed island chain as Japanese territory, the ministry's spokeswoman said on Thursday.

Abe, the master diplomat in action...next....lets have another round of meetings with Russia  and wonder why they ignore us again?

-11 ( +9 / -20 )

Japan is not getting the islands back short of war. Don’t hold your breath

Neither are the Tibetans, the people of the Ryukyu Kingdom or the Native Americans. The Mongols, the Japanese, the European settlers and early Americans appropriated the land of these people. You think they will hold on to them or will they engage in negotiations to return them? How about Hawaii?

The French had to be driven out of Vietnam. The Russians will be the same. They aren’t leaving the islands that once belonged (past tense) to Japan. It’s not about nationalities but what humans do.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

There's as much chance of Russia giving these islands to Japan as there is of the UK giving Gibraltar back to Spain, or the Falklands back to Argentina. None.

1 ( +18 / -17 )

Japan and Germany not only lost the war but start it. Starting a war AND loosing it voids any claims or rights.

-9 ( +13 / -22 )

Japan (like Germany) lost the war and both countries consequently lost territories.

The only one complaining about this is JAPAN!

Get over it, there are more important things to take care of!"

Spot on.

Oh look, an article that mentions Russia/Japan and WW2 on JT....lets see if we will get the regular fly in / fly out rightwinger gang in a bloc of -11 or -20 today?....any bets?

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

No It's not just 4 islands but all of Kuril islands belong to Japan.

By J Communist Party
-9 ( +1 / -10 )

It time for Japan, and South Korea, to move on and not live in the past.

There are island disputes with South Korea, Taiwan, China, and Russia. Any solutions? Anyone? Anyone?

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Idiotic move from Japan, to say the least..

absolutely, Japan just made it that little bit harder in getting them back now. Japan has no choice but to negotiate with Russia, war isnt an option, firstly because its just not worth the cost, secondly Japan would get its butt kicked as America certainly wouldn't be helping them against Russia. Antagonizing Russia wont pressure them in returning the islands probably the opposite. Saying the Soviets took them illegally at the end of the war is like saying the IJA followed the rules of war in its invasion of Asia. Japan lost and had to pay the price of that loss, whether you agree with that is irrelevant. The fact remains the islands are now Russian territory and its Japans job it enticing Russia to return them so far Russia isnt interested

3 ( +13 / -10 )

Japan was the host, hahaha.

so is insulting your guest the way to go about having those islands returned. Japan doesn't like to be told to do about whaling so why do they expect Russia to be told to do about their islands. Yes they're Russian islands until Japan can convince them otherwise

3 ( +13 / -10 )

Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a formal diplomatic protest to Japan after accusing Tokyo of circulating a map at its G20 summit showing a disputed island chain as Japanese territory.

Since Japan has always maintained that the disputed Islands are Japanese, this map made in Japan showing the Islands as Japanese territory should come as no surprise to anyone, least of all to Russia. Japan will obviously take no notice of Russian protests on this matter. To show the Islands as Russian territory would be to acknowledge that they are no longer Japanese. Japan can not take such action while it continues to maintain that ownership of the Islands belongs to Japan.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

 Japan can not take such action while it continues to maintain that ownership of the Islands belongs to Japan.

well they could have just labeled the islands as disputed and not Russian or Japanese territory. that would have probably made their case a little bit easier. Now as it stands they've probably just made it harder, Russia will dig in its heels and there is nothing Japan can do about it. Japan needs to negotiate not to antagonize

2 ( +9 / -7 )

There are island disputes with South Korea, Taiwan, China, and Russia. Any solutions? Anyone? Anyone?

Any Islands or lands where ownership is in dispute between sovereign nations should be administered by the United Nations and all taxes and incomes made by these, paid to the UN to help run it and reduce payments by all parties in dispute. If parties are unable to compromise or come to an agreement, the territory in dispute would become UN territory after 100 years. The Citizens would become UN citizens. Laws would be made and policed by the UN and would start a process of uniting the world, so that eventually everyone would be a UN citizen.

Just a crazy Idea for one possible solution, as per the above request.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Sooner in Japan will hear the frustration from the Russians, when the Russian airforce TUPOLEVs flew around Japan!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I don't give a damn what either the Japanese or Russian governments think about the islands. All that matters is the will of the people who live there or would be living there had they not 1) escaped or were 2) forced out. And not their children either, but the actual people.

Other solutions would deem Hokkaido be given back to the Ainu and the Kuriles too, which Japan took from them the same as Russia took them from Japan. Forget about that hypocrisy. Just ask the people there what they want. Quebec was asked and they stayed in Canada. Scotland was asked and they stayed in Great Britain. Any government with so little confidence its afraid to put it to a fair vote is guaranteed illegitimate to govern those people.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I surely don’t know what is right. But, I usually pull for Japan, especially against Russia. My opinion is worth less than these words I type.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

.

@klausdorf : Japan (like Germany) lost the war and both countries consequently lost territories.

The only one complaining about this is JAPAN!

.

A shallow view of history, mein freund !

East Germany was returned to the West - although in economic shambles

It"s Russian MO ro seize territory from other nations and call it their own.

Witness the Crimea.

.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I would say that your comment is rather shallow "mein freund" semperfi.

Why do you compare East Germany or the DDR with those islands?

The comparison is not correct at all,as I stated before it is historically correct to compare it with the lost territories from Germany that were integral part of the body of the country and never returned due to the war started by the Reich.

Here again:

https://www.quora.com/How-come-Germany-Austria-Italy-etc-didnt-lose-any-significant-territory-even-when-they-lost-in-WW2

As you can see entire provinces were ripped of,like North Schleswig,the two Prussians,Silesia the Saarland "returned back after years like Okinawa" and the southern west provinces.

This was a lost of 40% of it's native territory and a loss of 20% of it's population.

So how can you even compare the northern islands with the DDR?

History is a fact,and right wingers should accept the outcome of the wars as every country does in history of humanity.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The islands were stolen by Russia. It was not part of a peace agreement, at least not one that Russia signed. I see no reason not to protest the theft, whether or not it will ever be successful. Japan has things Russia wants, so a future deal in a different political climate might someday be successful.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Lost territories from Germany that were integral part of the body of the country and never returned due to the war started by the Reich.

Wrong war, those were lost during WW1 not WW2. It was written within the Treaty of Versailles Germany did not lose any part after WW2 since that treaty was the foundation for setting the border.

Same with Japan since there was a treaty between Japan and Russia that was signed in 1865 in which both nation agreed on where the border will be.

That is the foundation for setting the borders between the two nations in which Russia is clearly violating.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Those claiming 4 islands belong to Russia probably think those abductees are already citizen of North Korea.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

These territories where regained during the invasion of Poland in 1939 for a short time and the lost again at the end of the war.

And if you right wingers wanna keep protest to mother Russia for a few rocks be free to do so,but I hardly think the international community will make a fuss of it or you will gain them back,

Japan will get back the northern territories when the Federal Repubblic of Germany will regain Prussia and Silesia and Italy will get back ISTRIA and POLA.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

And if you right wingers wanna keep protest to mother Russia for a few rocks be free to do so,but I hardly think the international community will make a fuss of it or you will gain them back

About 17 thousand Japanese had lived over such a few rocks and MOTHER Russia been also obsessed with such a few rocks. And there's no right nor left in claiming for such a few rocks in Japan.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

That is the foundation for setting the borders between the two nations in which Russia is clearly violating.

War changes everything. Its the Japanese refusing to admit the loss of territory through war; war which Japan initiated to gain territory. I am sure Russia would be happy to sign a peace treaty, but its the Japanese that will insist the islands return to Japan and not any sort of democratic basis either. The hypocrisy of the Japanese government on the island issue massively stinks.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The G20 is held in Japan. Don't like it Russia, don't attend. The thief complaining that the rightful owner consider it it's own, in his own house.

The rightful owner is Rissia. If Japan hadn't wanted to lose any territory, it shouldn't have started WWII in Asia. Here you are again apologizing for Japan's imperial aggression and complaining about its outcome.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed between the Allies and Japan in 1951, states that Japan must give up "all right, title and claim to the Kuril Islands", but it also does not recognize the Soviet Union's sovereignty over them.

Jaoan coughed up its rights. There is nothing more to be said.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed between the Allies and Japan in 1951, states that Japan must give up "all right, title and claim to the Kuril Islands", 

That's why present Japan claiming for only 4 islands rather than entire Kuril islands as J-communist party claiming, if you could notice it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Norman GoodmanToday  04:29 pm JST

That is the foundation for setting the borders between the two nations in which Russia is clearly violating.

War changes everything. Its the Japanese refusing to admit the loss of territory through war; war which Japan initiated to gain territory. I am sure Russia would be happy to sign a peace treaty, but its the Japanese that will insist the islands return to Japan and not any sort of democratic basis either. The hypocrisy of the Japanese government on the island issue massively stinks.

What war are you talking about? That's not a war, but simply invasion. Russian simply back-stabbed Japan scrapping the pact+ignoring the expiry of the on-going. World war is very convenient to obfuscate their local aggression.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Both sides are doing what has to be done considering their respective positions.

For what its worth, my position on this issue is unchanged. Japan gave up those islands in 1952, so whoever's they were, they aren't Japanese. And no the dodge of saying 南千島 is not part of 千島 does not impress me. Only a terminal case of Russophobia in many nations have allowed this claim to be sustained by so many Western countries (it is one of those times that reminds me of the limitations of the West when it comes to Rule of Law).

But I've said this before too, also. Not very newsworthy, this one.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Why is everyone forgetting the Ainu? They are recognized by both Russia and Japan as indiginous peoples. The Ainu consider both countries as Invaders. They partitioned Putin to not return the islands to Japan. So the obvious and moral solution is to make the islands autonomous and give them to the Ainu who number somewhere between 20k and 200k worldwide.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What if Japanese demanded back the islands just as Germans demanded back East Germany and Berlin?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

showchinmono wrote: Russian simply back-stabbed Japan scrapping the pact+ignoring the expiry of the on-going.

If only the U.S. military had not been so hasty executing Gen. Yamashita, we might be able to say for certain that in fact, Japan violated the pact first by preparing troops for an invasion of Russia in 1942 under him. That guy actually executed some of his own troops for looting and murdering one time, but a crazy U.S. military tribunal decided to hold him accountable for some of his troops' actions anyway. Yamashita even treated Allied POWs well. But what can you expect from a military that firebombs and nukes civilians the second a country cannot defend itself anymore.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Givem back.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Norman GoodmanJuly 5  09:56 pm JST

showchinmono wrote: Russian simply back-stabbed Japan scrapping the pact+ignoring the expiry of the on-going.

If only the U.S. military had not been so hasty executing Gen. Yamashita, we might be able to say for certain that in fact, Japan violated the pact first by preparing troops for an invasion of Russia in 1942 under him. That guy actually executed some of his own troops for looting and murdering one time, but a crazy U.S. military tribunal decided to hold him accountable for some of his troops' actions anyway. Yamashita even treated Allied POWs well. But what can you expect from a military that firebombs and nukes civilians the second a country cannot defend itself anymore.

There's no IF for the sake of fairness, or I could start bunch of IFs. Japan did not invade Russia, respected the pact. period.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Chip StarJuly 5  04:55 pm JST

The G20 is held in Japan. Don't like it Russia, don't attend. The thief complaining that the rightful owner consider it it's own, in his own house.

The rightful owner is Rissia. If Japan hadn't wanted to lose any territory, it shouldn't have started WWII in Asia. 

Wrong, The United States. United Kingdom and European Parliamemt consider these 4 islands of the "Southern Kuriles" to be Japanese territory under Russian administration (occupation).

And these islands aren't occupied by "Asia" they are occupied by Russia, with whom Japan had a Non-Aggression Pact during WWII which the USSR broke unilaterally in the last days of WWII in order to invade Manchuria and the entire Kuriles chain.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Wrong, The United States. United Kingdom and European Parliamemt consider these 4 islands of the "Southern Kuriles" to be Japanese territory under Russian administration (occupation).

And we know that whatever these countries think must be correct.

And these islands aren't occupied by "Asia" they are occupied by Russia, with whom Japan had a Non-Aggression Pact during WWII which the USSR broke unilaterally in the last days of WWII in order to invade Manchuria and the entire Kuriles chain.

What are you talking about? I never once said these islands were occupied by Asia? Not to mention that the vast majority of Russia is in Asia.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Your complaints about the Soviet Union breaking the non-agression pact with Japan ring hollow. That was the Soviet Union, we're dealing with Russia now. This is the "logic" you use when trying to separate Imperial Japan's action with modern day Japan.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

 Japan lost them because of the war and was offered 50% of them back by Russia but refused.

The islands were occupied by the Soviets after Japan surrendered on 15 August 1945 - in the same way that the other islands of Japan were occupied by the Allies.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

OssanAmericaToday  02:29 am JST

Wrong, The United States. United Kingdom and European Parliamemt consider these 4 islands of the "Southern Kuriles" to be Japanese territory under Russian administration (occupation).

While that is true, have you ever heard of any real reasoning to support that position? I hadn't. It is a pure populist position, without legal standing.

The Americans and the British, in particular, as signatories of the Yalta Agreement are in a particularly poor position to object, having received the benefits of their offer regardless of its legality.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If we refer to the Yalta Conference, in return for entering the war against Japan, the USSR was promised the Kuril Islands and regain the territory lost in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05 (including the southern part of Sakhalin Island). The problem is that Roosevelt and Churchill meant the part of the Kuriles that Russia had lost to Japan in tje 1904/05 war. The four islands in question were never taken by Japan in a war, they became Japanese through a negotiated Treaty with Russia going back to 1855. Stalin interpreted this to mean all of the Kuriles including territory that had never been Russian. This was par for the course as Stalin failed to keep his promise that free elections would be held in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria as well, creating the "Easterbn Bloc" of Soviet satellites. The Kurile issue is part and parcel of Soviet territorial expansion in the aftermath of WWII.

The US and UK's positions were influenced by the Cairo Declaration from 2 years earlier which stated;

"The Three Great Allies are fighting this war to restrain and punish the aggression of Japan. 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 that all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and The Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China. Japan will also be expelled from all other territories which she has taken by violence and greed. "

In other words, the four southern kurile islands do not fall into the definition of what territory shall be taken from Japan. And Stalin's opportunistic interpretations violates the "no territorial expansion" concept.

It is actually the Soviet invasion and occupation of these four islands, and the subsequent legalization of this occupation by Russia after the collapse of the USSR which is without legal standing in the eyes of the entire world, other than Russia.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Chip StarJuly 6  06:58 am JST

Your complaints about the Soviet Union breaking the non-agression pact with Japan ring hollow. That was the Soviet Union, we're dealing with Russia now. This is the "logic" you use when trying to separate Imperial Japan's action with modern day Japan.

Anyone with a 6th grade education knows that the three WWII Axis powers, Germany, Japan and Italy are nothing like what they were then. Not just the change in governments but the adoption of democratic ideals.

In the case of Russia, although the USSR has dissolved, allowing a great many nations to become independent, Russian has not wholly divorced itself from WWII gains or the use and threat of use of force; ie; Georgia, Ukraine, etc.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

OssanAmericaJuly 7 08:00 am JST

One can only say that the proposed interpretation fails in its incompatibility with the literal and structural interpretation of the text proper.

https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1945Malta/d503

It doesn't take a genius to see that "Kuril Islands" is without any qualifiers. Further, it is placed in a separate paragraph from "The former rights of Russia violated by the treacherous attack of Japan in 1904 shall be restored, viz..." Thus, Stalin's interpretation is clearly closer to the text as finally written. Trying to reverse by claiming possible thoughts is despicable and cannot be accepted on the merits.

Cairo is a Declaration, not a legally binding treaty or agreement, especially since as you say 2 years have passed, which leaves a lot of room for "things to happen in between".

Further, the greed smokeshield aside (what territorial expansion can be completely free of greed), in substance territorial changes are sought for and effected, correct? Including territorial changes on territories whose prior move were approved by these same nations (US and UK).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you wish to believe that the Stalin interpreted the Yalta Conference agreement correctly, and that he was unaware of the Cairo Declaration, and that the Soviet Union did not have a territorial expansion agenda which they implemented everywhere they could in the ending days of WWII, fine that's your opinion.

Based on reality, the Governments of the US, UK, and not to mention JPN, disagree with you. Have a nice day.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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