Japan Today

Russia warns Japan against 'inflated hopes' in islands dispute


Russia on Thursday warned Japan not to expect a decades-old territorial row to be resolved ahead of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's visit to Tokyo early next week.

"I would like to stress our readiness for a calm, constructive conversation on this topic and what's more important, without some sort of inflated expectations and therefore without disappointment," Yury Ushakov, a veteran diplomat and deputy head of Putin's staff, told reporters.

"Expectations then cause major disappointments."

Putin is expected in Tokyo for a day of talks Tuesday with a high-powered delegation of top businessmen and officials.

He is scheduled to meet his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso as well as former premiers Junichiro Koizumi and Yoshiro Mori.

Japanese officials planned to raise their "favorite territorial problem," said Ushakov, and while Russia was ready to discuss any hypothetical scenarios it was important to avoid "extreme positions."

A decades-old territorial row over four Russian islands off Japan's northern Hokkaido island, known in Japan as the Northern Territories and in Russia as the Southern Kuriles, has long cast a shadow over the bilateral ties.

The two countries have never signed a peace treaty because of the dispute over the islands, which were seized by Soviet troops in 1945.

Ahead of Putin's visit, Japan said it expected Russia to answer to Tokyo's call to move towards a solution.

But Ushakov said it was important not to let bilateral issues hamper economic cooperation.

The two government will sign 10 government and commercial agreements during the visit, including on peaceful uses of nuclear energy and an agreement to build a wind power plant on the Russky island off Vladivostok on the Russian Pacific, the scene of an APEC summit in 2014.

Some of the country's top businessmen, including Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, Rosneft president Sergei Bogdanchikov and UC Rusal co-owner and CEO Oleg Deripaska, will accompany the premier to Japan.

A judo black belt, Putin would also unveil a Japanese language version of his book on the sport, Ushakov said.

© Wire reports

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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And that was dangerous!

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Better to dissapoint before the Prime Minister's visit after all.

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"Ahead of Putin’s visit, Japan said it expected Russia to answer to Tokyo’s call to move towards a solution."

Putin will have no trouble saying a flat out 'no' to Japan. Good or bad (usually the latter), the Russians are quite known for being terse about what they do or don't wish to do, and they'll be no dancing around it.

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Wonder what will happen over food-labeling if Japan gets the Islands? Will the cheap Russian Crabs suddenly become expensive Japanese Crabs?

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Den Den: More likely it'll just stop being called 'false-labelling'. :)

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ah, I keep saying No Northern Territories, No peace. I would like to add no trade but the greedy companies are willing to sell their families to make money. The joke is Russia will take over all of the projects as being in their "best interests." How stupid are the oji sans running japans industry?

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The big problem is Russia has so little land. Its only as big as almost China, Australia and the US combined with a whole 15% of their aggregate population. If things weren't so squeezy they could probably assist Japan. Just as well the US didn't retain the Japanese territory it took in WW11 otherwise you Japanese would all be US citizens. At least with Mr Putin, you Japanese can talk to him eye to eye. Softly, softly is the best approach. Maybe your PM should say to Mr Putin that it is just as well the US did not adopt the same territorial approach Russia did in 1945. Where would we all live?

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The Russian peoples main reason for wanting to hang on to the Chasima Islands (South Kurile Islands) is that they questionably claim they "won" them from Japan during WW11.

Given that the then Bolshevik led opportunistic Soviet Union only declared war on Japan when the war was "all but over" on 8 August 1945. The Bolshevik Soviets would have known their ally, the US was about to atom bomb Nagasaki and Hiroshima to bring an immediate end to the war in a couple of days, on or about 10 August 1945. Who did the "mighty" communist (and largely US armed) Soviets actually fight and defeat on Chasima Islands over the next two days to claim a victory? The penguins! The Soviets would have hardly had time to even land land a sailor or hoist a flag. Did they even fire a shot?

Since 10 August 1945 Japan has become a model of democracy and non -aggression to the world which was the opposite to the Soviets who intimidated and threatened the free world until their empire collapsed from within in 1988 and many of the countries abandoned the Soviet Union taking their territories out of it and free of Russian hegemony.

It was the Soviet Union that claimed sovereignty after their "big" August 1945 victory in their two day non-contested war with an already defeated Japan over the Chasima Islands. Given that the Soviet Union ceased to exist as an legal entity, so Russia has made a substitutional or quasi subrogated rights claim over the Chasimas.

It is fortunate for Japan that it was the US and Australia that occupied the Islands of Japan up to Hokkaido; and not the Russians. The US, Australia and Britain worked assiduously to enable Japan to recover from the war and rebuild its economy to become the second biggest economy on the planet in just a few decades. They guaranteed the Japanese their freedom and democracy and provided a defence shield to give the people more than 60 years of comfort and security, and still do.

Russia's claim is therefore an international 'slight of hand' and spurious and should be immediately rescinded in favor of Japan.

Japan might think about showing some gratitude for its circumstances too, by offering to give up whaling as a concession to the US, Australia and Britain who have sacrificed so much in relation to Japan since 7 December 1941 and who detest whaling. It would also be a 'quid pro quo' to the world and an honorable and emotional gesture gaining multilateral world support to chorus to Russia, "its time". Time to hand the Island's back to Japan. I am sure even the Russians would find that an emotional offer, and one indeed hard to resists. A political solution is the only solution to the Chasimas and Whaling. It would be a genuine win/win.

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No response from any Russians to my comment on surrendering the Chasima Islands back to their rightful owner Japan. None from Japan. Does no one really care about the Southern Kuriles? Perhaps it is my strategy?

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