politics

Russian PM visits Pacific islands claimed by Japan

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By DARIA LITVINOVA

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It's not a coincidence that this trip was scheduled during the Tokyo Olympics.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

A PM of sovereign nation can go wherever in his nation territory.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

I hope the PM has a nice time visiting, and encourages more Russians to live in their islands in that area.

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

in this case, Power = Position. The US will never go up against Russia to assert Japan's position/claim on the islands, and Japan isn't strong enough, even if they changed Article 9 radically, on her own. Russia is pouring investments into the islands. Though Russia entered the war against Japan as a waaaaaay Johnny-come-lately, return of the islands t'ain't never gonna happen. Yet . . . Russian likes to dangle the carrot out..:(

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Japan's not getting the Kurils back.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

@mz16 Japan's not getting the Kurils back.

Japan believes they can buy the islands back trough money! A "Bait" used occaisionally to achieve their goals!

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

he is at home as islands are part of Russian federation.as same as Crimea.

i see no reason why this is "newsworthy"?

Japan will never get islands back as long as USA will have army basements in Japan-as simple as is.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Forget about it already! It is not going to happen! Move on! You lost the war of aggression, now live with it!

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Friendship with Russia is important.

Japan still has a lot of undeveloped land, focus on that instead of meaningless rocks.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Japan still has a lot of undeveloped land, focus on that instead of meaningless rocks.

Japan has destroyed most of its lands for pointless construction projects in the 1980s-90s. The country has been ecologically destroyed.

In the 1970s and '80s, Japan seemed to be unstoppable. Its economy grew endlessly and rapidly. Japanese individuals and corporations bought up iconic companies and sites all over the world. Tokyo property values skyrocketed beyond all imagination. It was the Japan that could say "More". But after all the media attention and wild predictions of Japan being No. 1, what was the reality ? Was all this a miracle ? Was Japan the best model for a number of developing nations wanting to go for broke ?

> McCormack, fluent in Japanese and deeply interested in the society he'd chosen to study for life, delves deeply into the underside of the economic "miracle" and--surprise, surprise--finds out that Godzilla might have feet of clay. But if anyone thinks that mine is a snide comment, let me hasten to say that he proves that he has every reason to doubt. The book is divided into several sections. In the first, he argues that "Japanese expansion has outrun the social and political structures necessary to determine social priorities and needs and has begun to threaten the fragile ecosystem." That is, such a giant boom was not sustainable. He analyzes three areas: construction, leisure, and farming, noting the way the first two impact the third. The use of state-financed construction of public works (whether necessary or not) and the encouragement of vast "leisure" areas for a population rather deprived of actual leisure time (areas whose construction helped destroy the environment of a not very large country) have wreaked havoc on the Japanese environment and depleted farming land. Though not an expert on these matters, I very much appreciated that McCormack used Japanese sources for his arguments and did not indulge in "Japan-bashing" from afar. The book goes on to discuss Japanese identity and the ins and outs of being a "peace state", that is, one without a formal military (though Japan's "self-defense force" is one of the major militaries of the world). I think this section is usefully connected to the first part of the book because knowing who you are and where you want to go help a nation to decide its long-term goals. The last part of the book, on Japan's treatment of its past, especially World War II, may be accurate and compelling, but seemed to me to be tangential to "the emptiness of affluence". However, a country that cannot unwind itself from its mid-20th century imperialist vision, that is led by people with the same mindset, cannot find a proper path to that more sustainable affluence that McCormack and many Japanese scholars envision. Now that China has become an enormous power---not really foreseen in this book---the chickens may come home to roost. This is a most serious study of Japan. If you'd like the background to Japan's current malaise, you've definitely come to the right place.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/capsule-review/1996-11-01/emptiness-japanese-affluence

There is not anything there for Japan to develop. Japan now needs to re-develop its people and constructed lands to prepare the country for the uncertain future. The future has rising geopolitical tensions and raging climate changes.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

Give us back our Hoppo Ryodo.

Bet you Orange supported this

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The Japanese has a mentality of :So what!

Japan thinks Russia is a very vast country that extends to the Barent sea and west to Europe! Why they are picking on such four tiny islands! They have nothing to lose if four of them be gone! Japan has gone to US military occupation after WW2, the whole Korean peninsula and Taiwan were forever gone,yet the Japanese can endured that losses, why the Russians cannot !?

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

What I said yesterday!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Those that say Japan's Quixotic attempts to win the islands back are ill-founded and pointless do not understand the strategic importance of those Nothern Territories. Russian occupation will always be a security liability to Japan.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

LMFAO the guy with the short tight suit said "The measure Russian officials is currently pondering "could be a good solution for investors, including the ones in the West, for Japan also, which, if interested, can create jobs here," Mishustin said. He added that "this special regime will allow the intensification of economic activity" on the islands. Okay they want to claim the territory but want the west and Japan to invest in it and provide jobs. I can see the threads in the suit and the buttons about to pop he is full of hot air!!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The hide of Russians is breathtaking.

Their baldy PM is visiting during the Olympics to try and upset Japanese feelings. Well, its not going to work. Either hand over the stolen Japanese islands now, or Japan will get them anyway once the crumbling Russian state falls apart.

Russians are thieves.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Nothing will change in near future, if you ask me. It will continue as it is now.

Russia wants to keep these islands, but also wants Japan to invest into this rather empty area which is of easy access from Japan. However Russia offers nothing to Japan in return for developing them.

It's not even possible to enter these islands now as a visitor coming from Japan, neither by plane or by ship.

Totally unacceptable situation for the Japanese government of course.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If Japan gained control of those islands, their poor citizens would be under the jurisdiction of Japanese law / rule of law. I would not wish that upon my worst enemy.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

If Japan gained control of those islands, their poor citizens would be under the jurisdiction of Japanese law / rule of law. I would not wish that upon my worst enemy.

Um, the alternative is to live in the very poor, very dictatorial nation of Russia.

Any rational human, not subjected to the rule or brainwashing of Russia and Putin, would prefer to be part of Japan over Russia.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

"The measure Russian officials is currently pondering "could be a good solution for investors, including the ones in the West, for Japan also, which, if interested, can create jobs here,"

The Russian government is concerned because Russians living in the Far East are dissatisfied with their living conditions and lack of opportunities compared to Russians living in the European areas of Russia but the Russian government doesn't have resources to invest in the region.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

If Japan gained control of those islands, their poor citizens would be under the jurisdiction of Japanese law / rule of law. I would not wish that upon my worst enemy.

I don't see it. Japan has no secret police, doesn't suppress religion, has vastly better public services and public infrastructure than Russia or most other countries for that matter. The government of Japan doesn't censor the internet or the press, doesn't arrest opposition politicians and leaves people alone to lead their lives. Citizens can elect their leaders in free and fair elections. No nation and no government is perfect. None ever will be but by and large someone could do a whole lot worse than living in Japan or under Japanese governance.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

See? Russia has been historically always like that mean and bully. Japan's expansion was purely for self-protection against this Russia.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

If Japan gained control of those islands, their poor citizens would be under the jurisdiction of Japanese law / rule of law. I would not wish that upon my worst enemy.

You seem to have no idea, there are lots of Russians moving to Japan for good.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

kennyGToday  08:50 am JST

See? Russia has been historically always like that mean and bully. Japan's expansion was purely for self-protection against this Russia.

Oddly, a little historical digging supports that view. In 1900 Japan joined several European colonial powers in sending troops to relieve the seige of Peking by the Boxers. While other nations pulled their troops out after they were supressed, Russia remained in Manchuria. Japan interpreted this as a Russian intent to occupy the Korean Penisula, leading to the Russo-Japanese War of 1904. During which time Japan was supported by the US and UK. This lead to the 1910 annexation of Korea. Which lead to the invasion of China, etc etc.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Alan HarrisonToday 01:56 am JST

If Japan gained control of those islands, their poor citizens would be under the jurisdiction of Japanese law / rule of law. I would not wish that upon my worst enemy.

A transfer to Japan jurisdiction will only benefit these few Russian citizens.

There are not many people living on these islands, a few villages only, very dire living conditions. Totally on these islands in question, their population all together is only around 16.000 people.

With open access to Hokkaido - it's only a short trip by ferry - their quality of life will improve dramatically.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Desert TortoiseToday 03:53 am JST

The Russian government is concerned because Russians living in the Far East are dissatisfied with their living conditions and lack of opportunities compared to Russians living in the European areas of Russia but the Russian government doesn't have resources to invest in the region.

The Russian population, despite their country area is so huge, is only about 146 million people. Wide areas in the Asian part of Russia are empty, nothing there, only a few larger cities. All Siberia has only a population of about 34 million people.

In Russia there are many oligarchs, who are very rich business owners, but it seems nobody is willing to invest anything into these islands claimed by Japan.

About these few islands, their political future is unclear, remote location for Russian investors, volcanic activity and earthquakes, a few people living there and their only activity is fishery and some Russian military personnel, no infrastructure like good roads, no open borders into Japan by ship and so on...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@kennyG

Japan's expansion was purely for self-protection against this Russia

@OssanAmerica

Japan interpreted this as a Russian intent to occupy the Korean Penisula, leading to the Russo-Japanese War of 1904. During which time Japan was supported by the US and UK. This lead to the 1910 annexation of Korea. Which lead to the invasion of China, etc etc.

Ah, so it's Russia that is to blame for all that? Very convenient indeed.

In that logic, I guess next you'll be saying it's Russia that must apologize to China and Korea?..

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@mardarius

By the way, Congratulation for your 1st post

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@kennyG

Granted, the history of imperialism does provide some context. However, in this case - sorry, but your argument still sounds to me like shifting the blame.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Alan HarrisonToday 01:56 am JST

If Japan gained control of those islands, their poor citizens would be under the jurisdiction of Japanese law / rule of law. I would not wish that upon my worst enemy.

A transfer to Japan jurisdiction will only benefit these few Russian citizens.

There are not many people living on these islands, a few villages only, very dire living conditions. Totally on these islands in question, their population all together is only around 16.000 people.

With open access to Hokkaido - it's only a short trip by ferry - their quality of life will improve dramatically.

If there is one thing that Japan can never gets it's head around, is that some countries cannot be bought, and there is nothing more irritating in this world than the Japanese when they don't get their own way.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

mardariusToday  05:32 pm JST

@OssanAmerica

Japan interpreted this as a Russian intent to occupy the Korean Penisula, leading to the Russo-Japanese War of 1904. During which time Japan was supported by the US and UK. This lead to the 1910 annexation of Korea. Which lead to the invasion of China, etc etc.

Ah, so it's Russia that is to blame for all that? Very convenient indeed.

In that logic, I guess next you'll be saying it's Russia that must apologize to China and Korea?..

Nope, no one is talking about blame for anything. We are talking about the historical events that occurred in the late 1800s/early 1900s that formed a basis of Imperial Japan's stance towards Western powers. Look it up yourself.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Septim Dynasty

Such nonsense, look at the dying town all around Japan and you tell me Japan doesn't have undeveloped land.

If only the government could spend time to modernize them or at least relocate factories there in order to bring people back to them instead of concentrating them into Tokyo.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I flew over Russia once on a flight to Germany. More land than it possibly can handle, all undeveloped. I have no idea how they can keep it unless it is just that noone wants it.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The Russians are doing it just to be provocative. There's nothing of value for them there,beyond prodding a response from Japan.Plus it could've been worse.Apparently the U.S. stopped Russia from annexing Hokkaido!! Ignoring them would be more beneficial.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I flew over Russia once on a flight to Germany. More land than it possibly can handle, all undeveloped. I have no idea how they can keep it unless it is just that noone wants it.

The several times I have flown to China was at night on a route that goes up the west coast of North America over the Bering Straight and down through Siberia, cutting across part of the Sea of Okhotsk before entering China northwest of North Korea. What struck me about flying over that part of Russia was how dark it is. Even going up the coast of Alaska along the Inland Passage then over the center of the state there are lots of small towns with lights showing. But Siberia is dark. As soon as you hit the Chinese border it's a light show but flying over Siberia was like flying at night over the ocean.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Such nonsense, look at the dying town all around Japan and you tell me Japan doesn't have undeveloped land.

There are blogs about life in the Kuriles. Nothing in Japan is as poorly developed. The Japanese lavish public works on their rural areas. In the Kuriles, once the USSR dissolved nothing new was built. Only Etorofu has any paved roads or an airport. Towns are shabby and run down. Public services non-existent. It's basically third world. People there have to break the law and fish illegally for subsistence. Active volcanos make living on any of the islands tenuous.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As they say, possession is nine-tenths of the law. You could say that Russia has…Senkaku’d the islands.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

As they say, possession is nine-tenths of the law. You could say that Russia has…Senkaku’d the islands.

Russia's hold on their far east territories is not guaranteed. The Kuriles and Sakhalin Island have gone back and fourth between Japan and Russia over the centuries. The Russians worry about the Chinese gradually taking over the far east. Russia itself could implode again. The only certainty is that situations change as time goes on.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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