politics

Russians protest any Kuril islands handover to Japan

38 Comments
By Alexander Nemenov

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I understand that about 30 years ago Russia offered to give two of the islands back if Japan promised to concede the remaining two to Russia permanently. I think Japan should have taken the deal.

2 ( +18 / -16 )

The Russians, unlike the apathetic Japanese are out protesting in the streets for the Kurils to remain Russian-says it all.....

-10 ( +15 / -25 )

The Russians, unlike the apathetic Japanese are out protesting in the streets for the Kurils to remain Russian-says it all.....

FYI, the media does not typically report about protests that happen in front of the PM's residence. Unless someone attends or sees it, there very well could be protests going on, just not reported upon in the news.

17 ( +22 / -5 )

The press should be more careful when reporting this kind of news. "hundreds" of radicals do not represent the feeling of all Russians, at all. But they become the front page picture on Japan Today, but a "Russians protest" title. This brings more polemic and, would say hate, to the table than a more objective reporting would bring.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

Japan was offered twice 2 of the islands, once in 1956 and another in 2006, Japan refused. I would have taken 2 and then worked on the other 2 later on. 2 is better than nothing.

4 ( +17 / -13 )

Considering Russia's territorial issues around the world, looks to me like the Russian Right Wingers are a bigger concern than Japanese Right Wingers.

16 ( +24 / -8 )

cla68Today  07:02 am JST

I understand that about 30 years ago Russia offered to give two of the islands back if Japan promised to concede the remaining two to Russia permanently. I think Japan should have taken the deal.

They couldn't without upsetting the return of Okinawa from the U.S. Now they don't have that issue.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Uneducated fools. They clearly don't realize the 4 Islands are Japanese territory, as recognized by USA. Also, they don't understand the economic benefits that will come to the citizens on the island if they become naturalized Japanese and the Islands are developed for big tourism and other industry. Do they wanna live in Soviet conditions forever?

2 ( +20 / -18 )

as recognized by USA

Where did you find this information?

An opinion in the North Carolina Journal of International Law suggests the issue is not so clear cut

Ref:

Amy B. Quillen, The Kuril Islands or the Northern Territories: Who Owns Them - Island Territorial Dispute Continues to Hinder Relations between Russia and Japan, 18 N.C. J. Int'l L. & Com. Reg. 633 (1992). Available at: http://scholarship.law.unc.edu/ncilj/vol18/iss3/4

-16 ( +6 / -22 )

I am sure all Japanese feel it was very lucky we lost the war to U.S. It would have been horrible if half of Japan were occupied by Russia.

13 ( +21 / -8 )

Osaka_DougToday  08:25 am JST

as recognized by USA

Where did you find this information?

"The United States recognizes Russian-held islands off Japan’s northernmost main island as belonging to Japan, a U.S. official said Wednesday, speaking in connection with Russian military drills conducted in the disputed territory earlier this week."

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/08/14/national/u-s-recognizes-japans-sovereignty-over-russian-held-isles-official/#.XEUEvFxKi01

"European Parliament in the resolution “Relations between EU, China and Taiwan and Security in the Far East”, adopted on July 7, 2005, called on Russia to return to Japan the “occupied” South Kuril Islands."

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

14 ( +21 / -7 )

300-500 people aren't a big crowd by any means. They can demand and protest whatever they want but this is Russia. And what Putin chooses to do is what will happen in Russia.

"If Russians are against giving back any territory but Putin decides it is in his interest to do so, the commentator says, then Russia will give it back; and if they shift and show a willingness to give back territories belonging to others but the Kremlin leader is opposed, then this won’t happen as long as he is in office."

http://russialist.org/moscow-said-using-polls-to-prepare-russians-for-giving-the-kuriles-back-to-japan/

14 ( +21 / -7 )

Between 300 and 500 people gathered on Suvorovskaya Square, just outside Moscow city centre, for an authorised rally called by several nationalist politicians, opposed to any move to cede any of the four islands claimed by Tokyo.

No surprise there. Every country has its ultra-nationalists. 300~500 people is not really a huge number.

No different in Japan. Japanese ultra-nationalist / ultra-right wing groups regularly hold marches / protests that with their vans / trucks that go through the Kamiyacho / Roppongi area, passing by the Russian Embassy, to protest against Russia's possession of the Northern Isles. The biggest occurs every year on August 8th, which is Northern Territories Day.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

@OssanAmerica

Talk about cherry picking from that Wiki page.

-12 ( +7 / -19 )

JoeintokyoToday 09:13 am JST

@OssanAmerica

Talk about cherry picking from that Wiki page.

Accusations of "cherry picking" always occur when factual evidence is presented to substantiate a position or comment. And the reader has no response.

How about you post what countries support Russia's position. And you can even "cherry pick" the list.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

Accusations of "cherry picking" always occur when factual evidence is presented to substantiate a position or comment. And the reader has no response.

Hardly. You chose only the info from that article that supports your argument, ergo, cherry picking. The issue is not black and white. For example, Russia never signed the Treaty of San Francisco, so they believe they have a right to the Kurils under the Yalta agreement:

"The leaders of the three great powers – the Soviet Union, the United States of America and Great Britain – have agreed that in two or three months after Germany has surrendered and the war in Europe is terminated, the Soviet Union shall enter into war against Japan on the side of the Allies on condition that: ... 2. 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; ... 3. The Kurile Islands shall be handed over to the Soviet Union."

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

Blah blah.  The Uyoku Dantail do the opposite every Sunday outside the Russian embassy.  Hoppo Ryodo blah blah blah.  Loud awful WW2 marching music.  Loudhailers.  Plays hell with my hangover.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

JoeintokyoToday  09:59 am JST

Accusations of "cherry picking" always occur when factual evidence is presented to substantiate a position or comment. And the reader has no response.

Hardly. You chose only the info from that article that supports your argument, ergo, cherry picking.

Of course people choose evidence that supports their position. Not those that are against it. A forum is not a place to post an enormous explanation of all views to an issue. The issue is what countries support Russia's view.

The issue is not black and white. For example, Russia never signed the Treaty of San Francisco, so they believe they have a right to the Kurils under the Yalta agreement...

The Cairo declaration made clear the following;

-"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. "

The four islands in question became Japanese territory through negotiation with Russia resulting in the 1855 Treaty of Shimoda. It certainly preceeded 1914 and was never stolen nor taken by violence or greed. Yet the USSR violated every aspect by taking Japanese territory that was exempt for the purpose of territorial expansion, after Japan announced acceptance of unconditional surrender.

For this reason, the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Parliament consider these four islands to be Japanese territory under Russian administration (occupation).

So rather than rehashing perpetual arguments, please simply list what nations recognize Russian ownership of these four islands.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

The whole country is under Putin's control and at his dispense. A rally of few hundred nothing more than a mosquito bite to Putin.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The whole country is under Putin's control and at his dispense. A rally of few hundred nothing more than a mosquito bite to Putin.

It's not like the protesters and Putin have a different opinion on the matter anyways. The protesters can have doubts all they want, he's not going to give them away. Who knows, this protest could've been set up by the Kremlin.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

These people in protesting were very patriotic and defiance! When Russia came to face some ridiculous demands by western bullies, they raise up and fight back! Perhaps Mr.Putin is being over gentlemanship for  tolerancing Mr. Abe's nonsenses! For many country's leaders, they will just stand up and walk up

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

It's not like the protesters and Putin have a different opinion on the matter anyways. The protesters can have doubts all they want, he's not going to give them away. Who knows, this protest could've been set up by the Kremlin.

True. No one can predict what Putin will do. I won't be too surprised if he does give up 2 islands but also won't be surprised if he is just giving false hope to Abe for economic aid and a peace treaty while giving nothing. Whatever he does, no one in Russia can stop him.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japan is the only Northeast Asian country that doesn't have a good relationship with Russia, since the end of WW2. How stupid could it not be ?

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Sounds a bit like state organized theatre this. You have to wonder what’s real and what’s not in the modern day of hire a crowd theatrics. Just in time for the meeting and negotiations. So organized.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

That guy behind the banner on the left, looks like Zangeif from Street Fighter

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

So rather than rehashing perpetual arguments, please simply list what nations recognize Russian ownership of these four islands.

Why? What is your point?

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Uneducated fools. They clearly don't realize the 4 Islands are Japanese territory, 

wrong Russia holds those islands , they are inhabited by Russians, Japan will never be able to reclaim them through force or embargos, they have no choice but to negotiate. The only question is whether Japan can stomach the concessions Putin will require of Japan to return those islands. People can thumb me down to eternity but Putin clearly has Japan by the nads on this issue.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

soviet conditions lol.. which rock have you crawled from under...

Russia is doing amazingly economically... just try going to any resort or tourist location... most white tourists you will see are in fact Russian. , including Ginza btw.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

All this fuss for 4 rocks,nationalism is coming back at full speed.

What a pity.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

@Alex Einz

”Russia is doing amazingly economically...”

The Russian wives of Japanese men here would beg to differ. I don’t think they’re here because of “Yellow Fever”.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

All this fuss for 4 rocks,nationalism is coming back at full speed.

That isn't just four rocks; they have mineral resources and seafood; most importantly, whoever gains control of the Northern Territories can build a military base on it and in the case of Japan, Japan's line of defense expands and has even control of Russian borders. In the case of Russia, it enables the Russians to extend their military reach into Japan. This is why neither country wants to lose them and refuses to share them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As anyone who has studied post-1945 history has learned, displeasing Josef Stalin is the gift that keeps on taking.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Akie

You are mistaken.  Mongolia and Russia get on?  North Korea and Russia are close?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

there are many Russians in Japan, both women and men, many come here for study ( Japanese is a popular Uni subject in Russia and I ve met many amazingly fluent ) ..

If you are trying to claim they are escaping poor country, akin to east asians coming here, that is just false and insulting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I suspect Gospodin Putin himself organized the protests that will help him in negotiations with Abe-san.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

At their peak, the Japanese conquered, occupied , pacified, administered and utilized resources from the colonies. Were it not for the defeat it's hard to argue that they'd have willingly gave them back. Why at all, do they expect a different treatment from the conqueror of those islands ? because they are Japanese ? If at all the Islands are that important to them, as I said before, and I'm not a war monger - I don't come from a " warrior" clan but they can extend the diplomacy by other means... war. They are welcome.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Cogito Ergo SumToday  08:48 pm JST

At their peak, the Japanese conquered, occupied , pacified, administered and utilized resources from the colonies. Were it not for the defeat it's hard to argue that they'd have willingly gave them back.

The fallacy here is that you are predicting an outcome based on a hypothetical history that never happened. Whether territories "taken" by any country are returned or not depends on great many circumstances which can not be predicted. Therefore one can not reach any such conclusion. But I believe it's fair to say that every nation will only give up such territory if there is something to be gained from returning it, whether it be in the short run or long run.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

For those talking about put in and his influence in Russia, I don't disagree, but many Americans forget that the corporations own their govt. The oligopoly writes laws, the bought congressmen, senators, and president pass. Ever wonder why the US is constantly at war and demands others join? Lots of money for big companies in war. Patriotism blinds people to the faults of their own country while seeing the faults in others (sometimes the very same faults).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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