politics

Russian FM talks tough to Maehara on dispute with Japan

72 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

72 Comments
Login to comment

Japan sure is getting alot of sand kicked in it's face lately!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think russia is a already a big country, wanting such small islands and its resources pretty much shows how greedy and a bully it is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If Jpn wants'em back the only way will be to TAKE them back, not likely they wud attempt that

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The whole issue didn't have to erupt into a public spectacle. There's blame on both sides.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Have a meeting to try to persuade a robber ???

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just to remind the robber that nothing will change the fact that he is the robber and so not try the monkey pranks again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Love the look on Maeharasan's face. The other one looks nervous and worried.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Russia already claims one 6th of the worlds land mass as its own. If the islands in questions were wastelands there would be no problem. However the reason Russia does not want to give them back is already stated in the above article "The islands are surrounded by rich fishing grounds and are believed to have offshore oil and natural gas reserves, plus gold and silver deposits". Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is quick to understand the more that they can develope or persuade others to put money into the islands development the more support Russia will garner. Such development will then be used against Japan and Russia will be first to point it out and use statements such as "We have provided a better life for the Islanders. We have exploited..I mean harvested natural resources in order to bring in foreign investors and now we are asked to just give it up?" Render unto Ceaser that which is his.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And all this increased troop build-up because Kan wanted to score some points with the right-wingers. Way to go, Japan!

“When radical approaches take the upper hand in Japan concerning the issue of a peace treaty, it becomes pointless to conduct a dialogue on the issue.”

He's got an excellent point.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Russians are very clear, once the Southern Kuril Islands are returned to Japan, the Russian Navy's Pacific Fleet's exports into the Pacific Ocean will be blocked, so the Russian military strongly opposed to the Southern Kuril Islands returned to Japan. The South Kuril Islands, not only expand the scope of Russia's defense, to ensure the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Far East to the safety of maritime transport channel, but also to protect the irreplaceable Pacific Fleet role. If Japan occupied the four northern islands, this would pose a serious threat to Russia's security, deteriorating strategic situation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Love the look on Maeharasan's face."

He does have a look of excessive perspiration doesn't he?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maehara is bricking it! Poor bloke!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The yearly Kuril islands farce time. These islands are Russian and will remain so for all time but we have to have this charade played out every year for internal japanese political reasons.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

We are likely to forget that we lost the war. We should think that we were lucky that Russia took only (god forsaken) tiny islands in the north and not the whole Hokkaido or the northern half of the mainland Japan. Happiest of all is that it was not Russia but America that occupied Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This case needs to be escalated to International Court to settle the dispute immediately.

No more bilateral negotiations are necessary. The Japanese petition on this dispute needs to be filed to the Court before China and S. Korea start investing to complicate it further.

Thank you for listening.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In the past, there were several under-ground activities to maintain the relationship btw Russia and Japan before DPJ taking power in 2009. These days, DPJ is just demanding, which is just way communication to other countries like China and Russia. This is one of flip side that DPJ haven't progress anything even DPJ is showing strong attitude to other countries..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can't recall any territorial dispute that was peacefully settled except the return of Hong Kong to China by the UK which was based on a lease agreement in the first place.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"believed to have offshore oil and natural gas reserves"

You mean they still don't know for sure? What's taking the Russians so long to figure this out?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sarge: "You mean they still don't know for sure? What's taking the Russians so long to figure this out?"

What's the rush? They're Russian islands, so they can take their time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anyway, if the US thinks that Russia arming the islands further is any kind of threat, Japan can also thank its leaders for the US refusing any further talks on easing the burden in Okinawa and possibly even INCREASING the number of troops and facilities to counter Russian moves.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan should ask the robber of the price tag in order to get the islands back and informed the world public opinion about it. If it doesn't work out, it's time for taking this issue to the international court and U.N. Stop wasting time and being pro active in the world stage is better. Caesar once ruled much of the world, and now it's just Italy. U.N needs much reform similar to Egypt, and it will happen when we have enough of it. Japan need no afraid to let U.N. knows about it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Russians have set an dangerous example how to 'entertain' Japan on the island issue.. Especially when it comes to deal with an inexperienced team Kan-Maehara who are about to step down.. The FM's trip to Russia was a self 'insult-seeking' mission in the first place and its face-losing outcomes had been expected before the trip. Well, Mr. Maehara, just slapped in the face by the Russians, is returning home empty handed let alone a point : ' we are victims, the Russians bullied us'

0 ( +0 / -0 )

" we are victims, the Russians bullied us" is the probably complaint he could lodge vis-a-vis US President Obama : " well, my dear Seiji, I have got enough headaches with Egypt -- escalating scenario that can spread across the Middle East.. Sorry no time to talk about these minor issues, if it helps, could send (again) a few aircraft carriers to the Sea of Japan for another round of exercise, how about it ? "

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Russians are very clear, once the Southern Kuril Islands are returned to Japan, the Russian Navy's Pacific Fleet's exports into the Pacific Ocean will be blocked, so the Russian military strongly opposed to the Southern Kuril Islands returned to Japan. The South Kuril Islands, not only expand the scope of Russia's defense, to ensure the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Far East to the safety of maritime transport channel, but also to protect the irreplaceable Pacific Fleet role. If Japan occupied the four northern islands, this would pose a serious threat to Russia's security, deteriorating strategic situation.

What?

This comment makes no sense. Russia's Pacific fleet will lose no ability to move - they don't even run traffic between these islands as it is. Everything moves through the central islands. Plus, the 4 islands in question are thousands of miles from Kamchatka.

No offence, but please at least glance at a map before commenting on stories like this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

With the failure of the Russian government to protect their civilians against terrorists in the bombing of the airport of Domededovo, is crafty for them to create headlines for distract the russian people by provoke an incident with Japan. When everyone know that you are a pacifist that don't fight back, be the punching-bag of frustrated people with low-self stem is just the natural reaction. After all bully a pacifist country is easer than fight terrorists and corrupt officers for look "tough" in the eye of the voters, is in it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Medvedev fired back Wednesday, saying that more weapons will be sent to protect the islands as an “inalienable part of Russia.”

Inalienable? The man is talking out of his - you figure it out. Successions of Soviet and Russian leaders have taken different stances on the issue. Changing their tunes, making promises of promises of concessions, of a solution to the dispute, but always being devious. Fact remains they can never be trusted. There is no need for Japan to kowtow before these people and it is free to press points where it thinks it is right. Here the territorial issue. I am disgusted by those who keep singing their monotonous tune, 'they are Russian, they'll never get them back, they should live with it'. Kan wanted points? Come off it man, he is right and he doesn't have to shut up because the Russians are the big strong, tough guys or because [ ] say(s) so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

more weapons will be sent to protect the islands

Huh? Protect them from what?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"They're Russian islands"

No they're not, the're Russian-held islands.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Like 2 boys fighting in a sandpit. I think Japan needs to escalate this to higher levels. Russia declared war on Japan and then did a blatant land grab of these islands right after America had dropped 2 A-bombs on Japan. They did both the above in a matter of days in 1945 like a thief in the night. However, realistically, I think the probable existance of minerals and fish will make Russia keep hold of the islands, and might will be right.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

globalwatcher: "This case needs to be escalated to International Court to settle the dispute immediately."

Why? Neither country recognizes the other's claim.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is there any way to solve this quandry?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Russia declared war on Japan and then did a blatant land grab of these islands right after America had dropped 2 A-bombs on Japan. They did both the above in a matter of days in 1945 like a thief in the night.

they had no other option due to the Yalta agreement. Land grab? You bet that's what happens in war. Japan will never get these islands back and without Truman stepping in it would have lost Hokkaido as well. Maybe instead of populist grandstanding Japan should actually once try to get along with a former enemy instead of pouting about lost marbles. If you can't afford to lose you shouldn't play. Perhaps the tradition of crying after losing at sports in Japan transcends into geopolitics as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

RangerMiffy, no. The only logical, equitible solution is for Russia to return 2 of the islands closest to Japan, both countries to draw and agree on a demarcation line between both pairs of islands, and then leave it at that. Again, If you look at recent history, these islands were recognized as Japanese territory for more than a century (?), Russia had a non-aggression pact with Japan for most of the war, then immediately after it was clear Japan could not continue, Russia did an about face, declared war on Japan, and grabbed the islands, all within a matter of days. They wanted to occupy the top half of Hokkaido too, until MacArthur told them to back off.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan’s Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara, "Welcome to GeoStrategic Politics".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

spudman, are you actually saying it's ok to steal land? That's effectively what happened. Of course, land grabs have happened after conflicts throughout history, but I wouldn't go as far as to say, 'yeah, they're cool,' because it's theft, pure and simple.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Russia's Pacific fleet will lose no ability to move - they don't even run traffic between these islands as it is. Everything moves through the central islands. Plus, the 4 islands in question are thousands of miles from Kamchatka.

No offence, but please at least glance at a map before commenting on stories ...................................................

Dude, it's what come AFTER that counts. What if japan places some land base anti-ship cruise missiles, expand the airfield and put a squad of fighter bombers ? and last but not least, the potential resources ( oil/gas, gold/silver, fish )!! In my opinion, the original writer has a valid point.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese Islands belong to JAPAN, not to foreign (Soviet-Russian) invaders.

The strings of the heart can play many sounds, there is also the sounds of; Integrity, honesty and truth.

The attributes requires consistency. Choosing to play the sound of true and honesty, will tune the heart strings to play music that is consistent with honesty and truth.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The strings of the heart can play many sounds, there is also the sounds of; Integrity, honesty and truth.

............................

Sadly this has nothing to do with the real world politics , in the past, present and if we care to extrapolate, the foreseable future.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would like to know whether the Soviet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov believes in the study of history, or is it a sad topic for him.

A common response from the Soviet Russian politicians is that the past is not worth going into. It is more convenient to go on from the relevant recent days.

In the 40's, 50's 60's 70's the Soviet Communism had such a strong grip over the Baltic Nation and Finland Governments, that you could not even mention the 1939 Soviet invasions.

The Soviet used threats of violence as their best weapon to keep people/Governments silent. Today because the Soviet/Russian grip is loosening, and people are starting to talk, now the Soviet Russians are saying it is too far back in history, let's forget about it.

But the world has more respect to humanity and the rule of law and order, to reject justice.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wag the dog.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

gustavadolf - "But the world has more respect to humanity and the rule of law and order, to reject justice."

That's a good point. Despite the many arguments that the UN is becoming toothless, at the very least, it can be used to keep issues like these in peoples' minds, issues that in past years may just have been trampled over with no ways for aggrieved parties to seek justice.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You can't say who owns that islands btw. And u even don't know why Russia keeps them.Try to learn some info about it. Japan in her past years was knocked by US and Russia, so ppl r paying for what their grandparents did. All u can is bark, but who is listening to barking dogs?Japanese ambassadors r kids in diplomacy anyways, too stupid to solve everything in production way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Jkanda said: "Love the look on Maeharasan's face. The other one looks nervous and worried."

Actually, Maeharasan looks like he's trying to fight back tears, and the other one looks like he's trying to keep from laughing in Maeharasan's face. LOL

0 ( +0 / -0 )

About Yalta Conference (February 4–11, 1945), From Wikipedia:

"Roosevelt asked for Soviet support in the U.S. Pacific War against Japan, specifically invading Japan"..."Stalin agreed to enter the fight against the Empire of Japan within 90 days after the defeat of Germany"

The Agreement:

"The former rights of Russia violated by the treacherous attack of Japan in 1904 shall be restored, viz.: (a) The southern part of Sakhalin as well as the islands adjacent to it shall be returned to the Soviet Union...The Kurile Islands shall be handed over to the Soviet Union."

The dates: The defeat of Nazi Germany: May 9, 1945.Soviet invasion to Japan: August 9, 1945 (exactly 3 months later).The unconditional surrender of Japan: August 15, 1945.

Few questions: Why Japan did not stand as firmly (as today) against the occupation of the "Northern Territories" before surrendering? How Japan interprets the meaning of " unconditional surrender"? Is there any historical precedent, when the outcome of a major war is reverted in favour of the aggressor and loser (and more recently - the moaner)?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is illogical and too greedy for Russia continue to occupy Japanese Islands. Be a good neighbor and trading partner, just return them to Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan should give this up. It's hopeless, and only hurts relations. They're never going to get them back anyway.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Russia declared war on Japan and then did a blatant land grab of these islands right after America had dropped 2 A-bombs on Japan. They did both the above in a matter of days in 1945 like a thief in the night.

US asked Soviet Union to start the war against Japan since there were unable to defeat them. Truman ordered A-bombing just because he was afraid the Soviets could occupy the whole Japan without any American participation. Japanese surrendered only after the Soviets freed China and prepared to landing in Japan. This is more accurate reflection oh history.

Japanese Islands belong to JAPAN, not to foreign (Soviet-Russian) invaders.

The Japanese never lived there. It is territory of Ainu people, whom the Japanese colonized. Historical fatherland of the Japanese is Korean peninsula. This is more accurate data with population history. That is why Japan denies any consultancies with historians. The truth is not on their side.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

gustavadolf: "The strings of the heart can play many sounds, there is also the sounds of; Integrity, honesty and truth. The attributes requires consistency. Choosing to play the sound of true and honesty, will tune the heart strings to play music that is consistent with honesty and truth."

You've got to be joking... I could hardly keep a straight face while reading that. "Honesty and truth" would require the Japanese government admitting not only that they lost the islands during a time of war (and Russia took them after declaring war on Japan, so if that's not war, what is?), but admitting they are part of the Kuril island chain, which Japan gave up all rights to in the Treaty of San Francisco in 1951. They can't suddenly say later, "chortle thems islands is part-a the Northern terr'tries!"

It's funny to watch Maehara cry and wish he hadn't said such things publicly. He looks like his trousers way a brick in the picture.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I say we start a thread based on the picture alone and what Maehara might be thinking. It'll ultimately be smarter than what he's ACTUALLY thinking, but that's part of the fun.

I'll start it off:

Maehara: "It puts the lotion on its skin!"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry...

Maehara: "It puts the lotion on its skin.... please".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

smithinjapan

This is an universal practice of law that once it is handed over to a mediator (International Court), all new developments have to be decided and approved by the mediator (International Court).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

titian at 07:44 PM JST - 12th February

A few questions: Why do the WWII allied victors like the United States and Uniuted Kingdom to this date consider these islands to be Japanese Territory under Russian control? Why does the European Parliament take the position that these are not Russian territory?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thank you OssanAmerica. That's the reason I have been advocating Japan to hand this dispute to International Court. The Northern Islands have never been recognized as a territory of Russia.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

dlz45 at 11:10 PM JST - 12th February The Japanese never lived there. It is territory of Ainu people, whom the >Japanese colonized. Historical fatherland of the Japanese is Korean >peninsula.

That's wrong. The Ainu people were never "colonized" they were killed by ewartfre and absorbed by assimilation. The modern Japanese people can be genetially differentiated from people of the Korean Penninsula because they have traits going back to the Jomon people believed to have inhabited the Japanese archipelago from about 10,000 BC. The Ainu people are known to have the closest DNA match to the Jomon. The similarity to the Korean peole comes from the Yaoi migrations of 300 BC-300AD but by 600 AD Japan or "Wa" as it waws called, it's language and culture was different from the kingdoms of Silla, Goguryeo and Bakchae, the last of which Yamato formed an alliance against Tang of China. The Ainu are distinctly Japanese or rather proto-Japanese in this sense. One could make a better argument that the Okhotsk peoples inhabited those islands even before the Ainu.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

OssanAmerica, awesome information. But if one goes down the lane of making an argument is there any proof ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sorry, I meant: ... SUCH an argument ..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the last of which Yamato formed an alliance against Tang of China.....................

not sure about this part, dude. It is news to me that Yamato ( Japan ) and Korea were at war with the Tang Dynasty of China . I do know as a fact the kimono was based on what the court ladies were wearing in Tang Dynasty, also Kyoto city plan was based on Xian ( Tang Dynasty, China ). It seems quite " unusual " to copy something from a nation you were at war with..............

0 ( +0 / -0 )

shires

Have a meeting to try to persuade a robber ???

A good point, indeed. haha.

It looks like we are pleading a return of personal belongings to a ROBBER(Russia) and the robber claims that was always his. The robber has no ethics and moral value.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Ainu are distinctly Japanese or rather proto-Japanese in this sense...................

this is rather like saying the Indians ( politically correct speaking , Native Americans ) are distinctly American or rather proto-American. But we all know what the white settlers ( " Japanese " ) did to the Native Americans ( Ainu ) , don't we ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Objection to Russia from USA. The Northern Islands are too close to Alaska! This dispute is a big concen to USA as well as Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Smithin Japan...nice "Silence of the Lambs" reference..Another one for what Maehara is thinking would be..."I can smell your....lol" Yet in the political arena Maehara is more than likely looking at him thinking what a Stooge..."Why I oughtta"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is considered this territorial dispute is both political and economic issue. Some have argued as if the Russo-Japanese War and the resulting Portsmouth Treaty nullified both the 1855 and 1975 treaties. However, others say that the territorial delimitations established by the two nations in accordance with the treaties were never nullified by either the Russo-Japanese War or the Portsmouth treaty. Some documents published in Russia indicate that until the fall of Imperial Russia, the border between Russia and Japan had been determined by the 1875 and 1905 treaties, which were concluded satisfying all the necessary formal requirements providing no period of validity. In accordance with international law , a newly formed state succeeded. Therefore, these boundaries continued to be the end of Russian territory under the of the Kerenski's provisional government and of the Soviet Russia after the Revolution of 1917. And so this dispute continues to muddle on in this forgotten corner of the North Pacific. Russian settlers continue to struggle to prosper in a decaying former Cold War outpost. The exiles in Japan grow old and fade away. But until the vexed issue of these islands is settled, this conflict will never truly be over and poor Maehara gets tough talk from the Russian minister who plays hardball and loves to flex his muscles. Maehara-kun, mata ganbatte kudasai. Otsukaresama deshita. Someone questioned about the Ainu. Well, they lived in Hokkaido as you know and also the Kurile Islands, Sakhalin Island and were called the "Hokkaido Ainu," "Kurile Ainu," "Sakhalin Ainu" respectively. Ainu origins have always been a mystery and many theories have been advocated by scholars, but it is not precise and never been proven. No Ainu lives in Kuriles today, but some of the Japanese report Ainu ancestry

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A few questions: Why do the WWII allied victors like the United States and Uniuted Kingdom to this date consider these islands to be Japanese Territory under Russian control? Why does the European Parliament take the position that these are not Russian territory?

After the war they were no longer aliies would be my guess. NATO didn't want to give the land to the Russians as that would give them easier access to the Pacific. Truman basically gave Stalin the go ahead to take them and indeed would have lost Hokkaido for the Japanese if not for littleboy and fatman. Truman agreed that the Southern Kurils would fall under the Soviet occupancy so when they were no longer allies of course there was no benefit to the west to acknowledge the Russian claim.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why didnt Japan complain to the United Nation Security Council that she was under the aggression by Russia? If Japan does has the 'legitimacy' and 'soverignity' owning those islands, she has got to brought Russia to justice! The Kurile islands were no Kuwait 1990 under foreign occupation,it was Japan gave up her own soil and bring it back for Japanese politicians like Mr Maehara his own political purpose!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What does those US or EU judgement of those disputed soil belongs to who is who means? That means nothing! Nobody!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavroy representing the Soviet/Russian interest and policies that have not changed since 1940's.

The Japanese people need to learn more from the internet Wikipedia regarding who they are dealing with. It is always good to know history of the potential business partner.

Today's world and the political climate is much different from the 1940's. There were those that used force to suppress the freedom of information and expression. But information continues to get more freedom, and we have services like the internet Wikipedia that informs and educates people.

Learning and education is good, freedom of information helps us to have access/learn on our own free time. The world has come a long way in the last 70 years. Reading about a country like Hungary e.g. helps to appreciate the freedom we enjoy, and to learn that this freedom did not come without the sacrifice of many human lives.

Japan and the Kuril Islands of Japan, also want to be free, freedom from foreign occupation of their territory.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Truman agreed that the Southern Kurils would fall under the Soviet occupancy so when they were no longer allies of course there was no benefit to the west to acknowledge the Russian claim. .............................

well said

0 ( +0 / -0 )

1. Quote:

"Lavrov said Friday that Russia will pump more money into the Kurils and invited investors from other nations, including South Korea and China, to follow suit, drawing an immediate icy response from Maehara, who said that Japan would strongly object to that".

Today leaders in Russia are counting on these points:

Use Stalin as the national hero/brand, it will pull the people together.

Promote Stalin’s image. Send his statute to Virginia USA, as a reminder the world that they were Allies during WW2.

Count on it that the West won’t mention War Crimes, they were silent in 1945. Stalin was considered as the “Good Old Joe” by the Americans.

By drawing closer to the Soviet Union era policies e.g. Expansionism policy. That will ensure that the offended neighbors won’t have the political will or the nerve to challenge it.

With the elections coming up next year, the; “ground work” needs to be done, and to address the National security issues the old soviet way, because that’s where the people are at.

There has not been an International challenge to Soviet Union regarding the many border violations in the past. With more time maybe the issues will go away.

Economy is the main attraction; Worldwide, who cares about history and values.

By making trade agreement with the West. That could tie them to compliance, and maybe they will look through their fingers regarding; Illegal territory claims.
0 ( +0 / -0 )

oberst at 05:49 AM JST - 13th February "The Ainu are distinctly Japanese or rather proto-Japanese in this sense................... this is rather like saying the Indians ( politically correct speaking , >Native Americans ) are distinctly American or rather proto-American. But >we all know what the white settlers ( " Japanese " ) did to the Native >Americans ( Ainu ) , don't we ?

No because you cannot generally genetically differeniate an American from a northern European based on traces of Amercan Indian DNA.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

spudman at 11:21 AM JST - 14th February After the war they were no longer aliies would be my guess. NATO didn't >want to give the land to the Russians as that would give them easier >access to the Pacific. Truman basically gave Stalin the go ahead to take >them and indeed would have lost Hokkaido for the Japanese if not for >littleboy and fatman.Truman agreed that the Southern Kurils would fall >under the Soviet occupancy so when they were no longer allies of course >there was no benefit to the west to acknowledge the Russian claim.

No spudman your guess is completely wrong. Rooseveldt promised Stalin at the Yalta Agreement and the Potsdam Declaration both in 1945 that the Soviets could have what Russia lost in the 1904/05 Russo-Japanese War. That included the southern half of Sakhalin and the Kuriles. It did NOT include the four islands in question because one, they are not part of Kuriles and two; they have never been Russian and had nothing to do with the Russo-Japanese War.

"an August 27, 1945 letter from Truman to Stalin:"You evidently misunderstood my message [about the Kuril Islands].... I was not speaking of any territory of the Soviet Republic. I was speaking of the Kurile Islands, Japanese territory, disposition of which must be made at a peace settlement. I was advised that my predecessor agreed to support in the peace settlement the Soviet acquisition of those islands."

How you interpret this to mean that Truman "gave" the Kuriles to the Soviets is incomprehensible. The U.S. has never considered the four islands to be anything but Japanese. THe UK also holds the same view as the Soviets did not sign the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, a prerequisite to receiving any territory. The U.S. position is clear and unchanged to date:

"The US Senate Resolution of April 28, 1952, ratifying of the San Francisco Treaty, explicitly stated that the USSR had no title to the Kurils,[17] the resolution stating:

As part of such advice and consent the Senate states that nothing the treaty [San Francisco Peace Treaty] contains is deemed to diminish or prejudice, in favor of the Soviet Union, the right, title, and interest of Japan, or the Allied Powers as defined in said treaty, in and to South Sakhalin and its adjacent islands, the Kurile Islands, the Habomai Islands, the Island of Shikotan, or any other territory, rights, or interests possessed by Japan on December 7, 1941, or to confer any right, title, or benefit therein or thereto on the Soviet Union.

The USA maintains that until a peace treaty between Japan and Russia is concluded, the disputed Northern Territories remain Japanese territory under Russian military occupation via General Order No. 1.[9]"

The Aug 18th Soviet advance, after Japan surrendered on August 15th, into the four islands south of Kuriles was a typical Soviet land grab of the immediate post WWII period as exemplified by the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and the Baltic States.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Quote: #1.

"The US Senate Resolution of April 28, 1952, ratifying of the San Francisco Treaty, explicitly stated that the USSR had no title to the Kurils,[17] the resolution stating".

Take note:

"As part of such advice and consent the Senate states that nothing the treaty [San Francisco Peace Treaty] contains is deemed to diminish or prejudice, in favor of the Soviet Union, the right, title, and interest of Japan, or the Allied Powers as defined in said treaty",

Take note:

"in and to South Sakhalin and its adjacent islands, the Kurile Islands, the Habomai Islands, the Island of Shikotan, or any other territory, rights, or interests possessed by Japan on December 7, 1941, or to confer any right, title, or benefit therein or thereto on the Soviet Union".

Take note:

"The USA maintains that until a peace treaty between Japan and Russia is concluded, the disputed Northern Territories remain Japanese territory under Russian military occupation via General Order No. 1.[9]".

Conclusion: The northern Territory is Japanese Territory.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm by no means a Japan basher as I've lived here the last 16 years and have a Japanese family. On the issue, I seem to recall some time ago, a few years ago Russia was willing to give back two of the islands and invited Japan to develop/share a trade zone where both would benefit am I correct? Japan rejected the idea then and that was the last time the Russians brought it up! Now Japan's perennially disfunctional government is demending the return of all the islands, I think not! Unfortunately these poor J-guys are the political laughing stock of Asia and Russia knows this. Thus "there's no point" in further talks if Japan doesn't soften its stance on the issue. I still think Russia should play nice and give two islands back and they both can develop the area because big boy China is right around the corner!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites