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Russia's Medvedev says he's sending weapons to disputed isles

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Russia is an evil empire. One of uncivilized nations of the world.

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France: Arming both sides since 1860.

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France..being French as usual.

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OssanAmerica -- predictable and silly comment. As you must know, Russia and NATO have a mutual agreement pact dating back at least 8 years, and, Russia may well become part of the NATO missle defense shield. So why shouldn't France sell them weapons? I mean, come-on, who is France likely to benefit more from in the next couple of decades -- a growing/prosperous Russia, or an old/shrinking Japan?

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herefornow:

If you honestly think that Russia will ever be part of NATO's missile shield, I have a bridge to sell you. Apparently you forgot the crisis in NATO-Russian relations surrounding Georgia, despite the fact that it's mentioned in the article.

France arms everyone, always has.

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herefornow- you haven't been keeping up with news and world events

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Must have been those right wing demonstrations that has Russia runnin' scared.

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"to defend the southern Kurils"

from a bunch of middle aged guys with handmade signs chanting slogans at your island? Deploying these French Mistral assault ships sounds disproportionate to the threat.

"a growing/prosperous Russia, or an old/shrinking Japan"

Somehow I'd still rather fly into an international airport in Japan (see recent bombing of Moscow Int'l Airport). Probably more highly ranked Michelin restaurants in Japan too.

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How silly it all looks. look at that humangus, powerless, boorish Russia not being able to face little but powerful,decent Japan. First of all, Medvedev should first consult France to sell some stylish clothes. Ofcourse, France is willing to sell anything to anything because they can never come out of their troubles.

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On another note, do you think, China will ever, ever let Russia do what they want in this region?

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Jkanda: Russia on one side and China on the other. Not a pretty picture.

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The Kuril islands are also crucial for Russia's defenses because their straits give Russia's Pacific Fleet access to the high seas. The Tsushima and Sangar straits are controlled by other countries, while the straits of the central and northern Kuril Islands, located farther north, are mostly underdeveloped. If Japan takes over the South Kurils, Russia will lose the ability to control the entry of foreign surface ships and submarines into the Sea of Okhotsk, the combat service area of its Pacific Fleet's strategic submarines. This would give Japanese an opportunity to mount equipment to monitor Russian submarines and sink them in case of a military conflict.

The situation will persist until Russia modernizes and expands the military and economic infrastructure of its Pacific regions, which need new warships, bases, airfields, aircraft and other equipment. More than that, they need human resources, people who would live there permanently instead of going there to work in shifts. Japan is building up its armed forces. Its conventional forces are now bigger and stronger than the Russian military group in the Far East, and Japan's air force, army and navy have considerably more cutting-edge weapons and equipment. On the other hand, Russia has a group of almost invulnerable nuclear submarines and long-range aircraft in the Pacific area, which, together with nuclear weapons, reliably protect Russia's Far Eastern regions from potential attacks. However, their influence is not unlimited.

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Question arises : Since th USA insists its presence in Okinawa is for the defense of Japan and peace in the Far East . . . WHERE is USA's voice in this ? . . . .SILENCIO ANCORA

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paulinusa, these empty words of Medvedev is a challenge for China and not so much for Japan.

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Russia visits the Kuriles: bet Kan calls it an "unforgiveable outrage": raise Medvedev says he will send weapons: verbal all-in

Oooooh snap, does Russia have the balls to do it? I've said it before about this, might makes right and Japan is a little inadequate in that department. It could technically be self-defense (and therefore a job for the SDF) but for Russia this is just an opportunity to test out their weapons on some poor fools.

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Jkanda: Agree and disagree. Lots of territorial jockeying going on here, but I don't think Medvedev is ignoring Japan(and I'm sure Japan doesn't feel that way)

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France supplying Russia. How low the mighty have fallen.

@sfjp330

Russia "owns" most of the Kurils anyway. It's only the four near Hokkaido that are disputed. I don't see how Japan regaining them would prevent Russia access to the Pacific.

@Jkanda

On another note, do you think, China will ever, ever let Russia do what they want in this region?

That would depend on what the Russians want to do. I would not be quick to write off the Russian military any time soon.

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More petty minded little boys fighting in the playground over more or less useless points. Russia's prosperity depends upon good relations wiht the west. Good relations with the west could not be maintained if any kind of military stand off starts with Japan. So nothing of the sort is forth coming.

China will not allow Russia to hold too much sway in Asia. They are already pushing back on Japan and the US and are long term mortal competitors with Russia. Russia and China know this and will need to keep this in mind as they jockey for their Asian bits.

The US, knows well that Russia is still a potential threat, but also knows that Russia's people are wanting to be culturally and economically connected to Europe, something that will restrict the Russian government to some degree.

The US also knows that China is the only real threat to Asia today. That is where their attentions are. They know that Russia cannot win a new cold war, but China may be able to sustain one for a long time to come.

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And once again Japan's sudden overreaction towards a Medvedev trip that took place 4 months ago bears fruit. I swear, the whining these guys are doing about things that are theirs, or about other nations broadcasts, are really starting to come back and bite them in the arses.

I have no doubt this sparks concern with the US, so now would be a good time to pressure Japan to give the issue up before Russia arms up even further. The islands are Russian, and Japan putting up a stink over things they lost long ago after their war of aggression isn't helping the region. They're gone, Japan. Deal with it.

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Smith, obviously it shows that you don't know anything about international politics. Although you're trying very hard to pretend you do. Giving up on those islands is exactly the thing Japan should NOT do. If they ever get them back or not is totally irrelevant.

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NIce own goal, Mr. Kan.

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hokkaidoguy and Ossan -- quite the contrary. If you think things like the Georgia isssue are going to keep NATO from cozying up with NATO, you obviously do not understand 21st century geo-politics and "the big picture". Or did you miss the U.S. and Russia just signing the new START treaty? (Talk about not keeping up with current events.) For all its short-comings, Russia is recognized as a key player in the evolution of a new Europe, and even the Middle East, due to its ties with Iran and others. It may also play a role in helping the U.S. out of its quagmire in Afganistan. If Japan were not hosting U.S. bases, they would be totally irrelevant. And, are really only relevant to the U.S.

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The right wing extremists are going to be frothing at the mouth now. And there's not much they can do except drive their black vans around in a convoy...

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I have no doubt this sparks concern with the US, so now would be a good time to pressure Japan to give the issue up before Russia arms up even further. The islands are Russian, and Japan putting up a stink over things they lost long ago after their war of aggression isn't helping the region. They're gone, Japan. Deal with it.

Here we go again. So I suppose Russia's invasion back in 1945 isn't seen as an act of aggression in your eyes? Only Japan's war was aggressive?

And once again Japan's sudden overreaction towards a Medvedev trip that took place 4 months ago bears fruit. I swear, the whining these guys are doing about things that are theirs, or about other nations broadcasts, are really starting to come back and bite them in the arses.

I really wonder. What would your reaction be if another country who invaded and took territory from you as you lost a war against another country, then started using that territory as a political stage? Are you so weak and accepting that you wouldn't put in a diplomatic protest as the Japanese so rightly did? You seem to have a real issue with the recent Japanese protests about Russia's political show, when they have every right to speak out against the current use of those islands.

Just to spell it out for you, the Russian government haven't given a damn about those islands for generations. But when Medvedev and the like require some political booster, all of a sudden they are travelling out there and walking around in front of the cameras.

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Russia needs to handle internal terrorism and mafia power within the state before they can pay for new boats in some far off waters ... this smells populist cheap stuff all the way. Medvev knows that the current Japanese government can't even create their own budget so he just takes a chance while they are in power - ultimately showing what a little rat he is...

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I hope this is only tough talk from Mr. Medvedev. As we saw recently in SE Asia, between Thai and Cambodia these small border disputes can escalate to needless levels. And forget the lack of U.S. responce, why hasn't the United Nations tried seriously to resolve this; the main puprose of the U.N. is to resolve these foolish diplomatic disputes in the prevention of armed conflict. If Medvedev follows through, I think the U.S. should respond, and respond forcefully, to show Russia that this soviet style aggresion wont be tolerated in this modern era of international discource.

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Japan lost the islands in the wars, get over it please Japan you are making yourself look so stupid in the international eye, no one is on your side.

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Well, as Medvedev is nothing more than the public mouthpiece for Putin, this is Putin's idea. Possibly diplomatic speak, cat-and-mouse game for some leverage from Japan to "renew negotiations" later on and invariable to squeeze a new factory or some-such. Getting the islands back just isn't going to happen, ever. This is the fallacy and legacy of all wars so there's nothing else to do but just get used to it for the Japanese. That doesn't mean it's 'right' but it just will never happen, ever.

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That's good news for the islanders, more jobs, more income. They must be really thankful to Japan.

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Japan lost the islands in the wars, get over it please Japan you are making yourself look so stupid in the international eye, no one is on your side

But that is only according to you. There are just as many people who recognise Russia's little games and how Russia neglects those islands until it needs a vote earner. And there are just as many people who feel that Japan are within their rights to protest. 'No one is on your side'? That's a rather sweeping statement from someone who is just a poster on a chat site and someone who is clearly not a player of any sorts on the international stage.

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Well, as Medvedev is nothing more than the public mouthpiece for Putin, this is Putin's idea. Possibly diplomatic speak, cat-and-mouse game for some leverage from Japan to "renew negotiations" later on and invariable to squeeze a new factory or some-such. Getting the islands back just isn't going to happen, ever. This is the fallacy and legacy of all wars so there's nothing else to do but just get used to it for the Japanese. That doesn't mean it's 'right' but it just will never happen, ever.

Every now and then there is something actually worth reading on this site. An intelligent piece, instead of all the other jokes and insults aimed at Japan.

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Historically territorial disputes more often then not never end. This is true for every continent.

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OMG. Recent Russian government aggressions to the Northern Islands issue have raised my eye brows. Russian is doing this as Kan has been very weak in forein negotiations. I guess the COLD war has never ended.

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northlondon: I actually thought pretty much the same thing about your comments above, too.

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Agree with AiserX.

Italy is still holding a disputed territory with Austria, Greece and Turkey are still at war over Cyprus, etc.

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northlondon: "What would your reaction be if another country who invaded and took territory from you as you lost a war against another country, then started using that territory as a political stage?"

All war is aggression in my eyes, but Japan was far more aggressive through Asia than the nations fighting them back. Of course, we're going to get into semantics, but everyone knows what is meant.

"But that is only according to you."

No, it's according to most people, actually.

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northlondon: "Just to spell it out for you, the Russian government haven't given a damn about those islands for generations. But when Medvedev and the like require some political booster, all of a sudden they are travelling out there and walking around in front of the cameras."

And Kan didn't give a damn about the issue until he realized his popularity has dropped like a stone. They're both playing politics -- anyone who denies that is kidding themselves. The fact remains RUssia lives on and administers the islands, same as Japan does with Senkaku. It doesn't matter when or why they were taken, time is on Russia's side. And now with all the political back and forth and both nations acting like children, Russia is becoming bolder and even ARMING the islands more than ever.

Japan needs to give them up once and for all, as it's never going to change. They have no leverage, and could focus their issues on more important things (as can Russia, to be sure). As said, politicians never care about this kind of thing until it can score them points, and the current DPJ is no exception.

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Japan should give it up. You don't see South Korea telling North Korea to give back the North. Spoils of war.

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Glad that some of the posters here hold no important jobs related to politics but just essay writers. There is something called precis writing too.

This puppet dance by Medvedev also gives a clue that Putin's local life long enemy seems to have made a move. He has the money to buy 10 more islands like that. Keeping him in jail cannot stop him.

Am I the only one who noticed the strings and the weird neck movements of puppet Medvedev on the camera shows?

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If Japan lost the islands in the war to Russia, that means that Russia took the lands. If we should consider it "end of story", then that means that we also have to say that Palestine should stop griping about the land that Israel took/takes from them. Somehow, I don't think it is quite that simple.

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No, it's according to most people, actually.

smithinjapan and gogogo are most people apparently. By the way, my comment that you quoted was in response to gogogo's post.

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The puppet does what Putin says, again. Ask the Russians if the want to sell the islands. It is the only way they will surrender the islands.

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Northlondon,

I am trying to understand your point of view on this. Yes Russia invaded the islands when Japan was at its weakest, l agree with you there. Is that a problem in the wider scheme of things they where technically at war so they can do that. Should Japan give up and stop claiming these islands, probably not but they need to understand that they dont look like getting them back and they may actually make the situation worse as we are seeing here. Maybe in hindsight Japan should have taken the previous offer that would have handed them back 2 of the 4 islands would you not agree

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Whatever we think about the Russian possession of theses islands (I don't have an opinion on it), it is clear that these islands have been de facto Russian for 60 years. The realistic outcome is that they will never be given back to Japan, for several reasons:

the local Russian population on the islands is not in favor of a reversion to Japan. the Russian government is afraid it might establish a precedent for independence movements in several Russian republics (Chechnya, North Caucasus, Tuva...). the islands have a strategic importance for controlling the Pacific access to Russia.

Unless Japan comes up with very good arguments (monetary, economic, shared sovereignty, special autonomy areas, etc...), I don't see Russia giving these islands back. Cross border disputes are always difficult to negociate. What makes it even more difficult in that case is that one of the parties has absolutely no interest in the change (local population on the islands, internal politics, strategic/military reasons).

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If you read smithinjapan's posts you can easily work out what is going on in that mind. If you ask directly whether smithinjapan would have reacted the same way as the Japanese government under the same circumstances, you do not get an answer. Instead the question swerves violently to some war crime or act of aggression that the Japanese once carried out. And when you come to the conclusion with smithinjapan finally admitting that the Japanese government will of course make these protests for their own political life, he refuses to admit the Japanese have the right to speak out and swerves off again to comments about the Senkaku Islands. In other words, in his posts the Japanese can never ever be forgiven for their old history and will always be a target.

Moderator: Smithinjapan can speak for himself. Please focus your comments on the story and not at or about other readers and do not let your emotions carry you away.

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Adam,

I totally understand that these islands will never be handed back. I totally accept that what happened with the Northern Territories in 1945 was unfortunately a consequence of Japanese military aggression during WWII. But I find it insulting when posters start posting about Japanese war crimes in China and Korea during that war, as justification for the Russian invasion of the Northern Territories and the current political showboating from Medvedev. It would be much more honest for the Russians just to keep their territory without having to use them to earn cheap votes. That way would be far more acceptable. And I find it very insulting when posters try to claim that the islands were taken fairly during some kind of battle. They invaded when Japan had already lost everything and that makes it quite a dirty theft, even though they will remain Russian territory.

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They are "spoils of war". Why should Russia have to give them back and say, "Sorry, my bad"?

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Northlondon,

We finally agree on some points then. I do agree the way the islands were attained was a bit underhanded however these things happen during wars (there are examples of Japan doing the same during WW1 and other countries over time doing the same) and at the time the Allies agreed to it. Hell even in the 80's the British PM sided with the Russians over the dispute. The problem l have is yes the Russian president was stirring the pot and politicising things but they are his islands now. And for Japan to complain on the worlds stage about a leader of a country visiting land within his control (for political reasons or not) is not on. The Japanese do not control the islands so what gives them the right to dictate who can go there or not is my point, yes they can be upset but this have been blown out of preportions and escalated the situation.

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a bit underhand?

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northlondon: "If you read smithinjapan's posts you can easily work out what is going on in that mind."

" I totally accept that what happened with the Northern Territories in 1945 was unfortunately a consequence of Japanese military aggression during WWII."

And yet when someone posts this fact you claim they are prejudiced and hate Japan. Weird, the hypocrisy.

"But I find it insulting when posters start posting about Japanese war crimes in China and Korea during that war, as justification for the Russian invasion of the Northern Territories and the current political showboating from Medvedev."

So, in one sentence you say you know that the loss of the territories was an unfortunate consequence of Japan's military aggression during WWII, but in the next line you find it insulting when people point that out? Again, interesting contradiction. And again, is not Kan showboating here? Why did he not go on a massive rant back in Novemeber when the visit people SUDDENLY starting protesting the other day actually occurred. I completely spelled this out for you but you won't take the anger blinders off.

"And I find it very insulting when posters try to claim that the islands were taken fairly during some kind of battle."

Even when taken during battle it's not 'fair' -- war is never fair -- but as you said, them losing the islands is a consequence of their military aggression DURING WWII (your words).

Moderator: Smithinjapan and northlondon, we will not ask you again. You will stop sniping at each other and focus your comments on the story, not at each other. From here on, if you do go at each other, your posts will be removed.

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AdamB: "The Japanese do not control the islands so what gives them the right to dictate who can go there or not is my point, yes they can be upset but this have been blown out of preportions and escalated the situation."

Exactly, and Medvedev is using it as an excuse to escalate things himself. Unfortunately, it means putting more weapons on the islands, which absolutely cements the chance of Japan getting them back as nil.

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just when I thought japan was a safe place to live. OFF TO WAR!!!

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AdamB: "Smith, can't you go do some community work or something and leave your 24/7 presence on JT behind for a while? Man, don't you have a life?"

This is the other kind of bottom-of-the-barrel 'argument' you get when posters can't rebut your comments. :)

roomtemperature: There are just as many comments on this and other threads by northlondon as by me. So, why are you addressing your question to me only? And, once again, I notice you can't post anything at all on the thread at hand. Welcome back.

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"Moderator: Smithinjapan and northlondon, we will not ask you again. You will stop sniping at each other and focus your comments on the story, not at each other. From here on, if you do go at each other, your posts will be removed."

Didn't see that. My bad.

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@smithinjapan

Russia is becoming bolder and even ARMING the islands more than ever.

Wrong.

Why?

1) If you read the article, you'll see that it's "some of the four" ships that will be deployed to the Pacific Fleet, "in part to defend the southern Kurils." That's different from your alarmist "ARMING the islands".

2) The ships don't exist yet, except in a shipyard. Thus, the Russians aren't actually arming anything at this point, are they?

3) Even if they send all four with a full helicopter compliment, they'll still be about a thousand troops and a few dozen MiGs short of where they were in the 1980s. In other words, this planned action is a very very long way from "ARMING the islands more than ever before".

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Now Japan was encircled by Russia from the North and China from the south! So is Japan prepared to make 4000 nuclear warheads to defend herself?

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Mr Medvedev,please send more forces in fra east, the peace and prosperity of asia count on Russia!

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Japan lost and can't demand anything. Russia offered 2 of the 4 islands back but Japan refused.

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Should Japan still maintain a claim and speak up? Why not? The problem is that speaking up in a shrill nationalistic way will accomplish nothing and only work against it's efforts. And there's basically no other options. It's a no-win situation.

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Honestly, what good are these islands for? They are desolate, have no natural resources, offer no use for tourism so why are Russia and Japan quabbling about them. I say send all of Japan's and Russia's criminals there to fight it out and cannabalize each other which is a much more useful purpose for those isolated islands.

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Russia is going to conduct a landing on Hokkaido island with those French made Mistril ships! Now Japan has become a place more dangerous than the Korean peninsula with Russia from the north and China from the south! Lets see how much the US 7th fleet could save them!

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@haweye: Those islands were stragetic edges of the Soviet union in cold war years, those airfield has could deploying Mig27 if necessary in 1980s. Well I guess the Russians want to get back the Hokkaido that Truman has promised to divide Japan but refrained after the A-bomb blasts!

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oh Russia.. why you do such a silly aggressive provocation always? what a barbarous country.

Please just make a decision logically. Well, All Russians must start learning about true history of our islands. Japan capture an all islands of south of Urup by the Treaty of Shimoda of 1855 from Russia. and then,Japan exchanged karahuto(Sakhalin) for other 18 islands of north of Urup by Treaty of Saint Petersburg of 1875. The negotiation had been peaceful. these islands were not war trophy. OK? Yes,Absolutely,these islands -Chishima retto- are all Japanese territory. All Russian must to know that fact.

Now,Russia must deeply repent and apologize for the unbearable pain and sorrow Japan experienced and stop illegal occupation and return our islands as soon as possible. it's absolutely justifiable claim. I want to expect make wise decisions of people of sound judgment in Russia.

it's time to become civilized and sophisticated country. thx

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As i mentioned before, if Germany can give up E. prussia ( and that's a MAJOR province ) after losing WW2, Japan's losing the northern islands is chum change for starting aggressions against her neighbors.Imagine the proud Prussians one day woke up and found themselves to be Polish, then you can imagine the " pain ". DEAL WITH IT.

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AdamB: "The Japanese do not control the islands so what gives them the right to dictate who can go there or not is my point, yes they can be upset but this have been blown out of preportions and escalated the situation."

Exactly, and Medvedev is using it as an excuse to escalate things himself. Unfortunately, it means putting more weapons on the islands, which absolutely cements the chance of Japan getting them back as nil.

The question is still not being answered. But does that mean that the Japanese government are not permitted to voice their displeasure at the political show on those islands? The recent news articles were just about the political fallout between Japan and Russia in 2011. Yet people are concentrating their posts about Japan's war crimes record all the way back in WWII, instead of debating the political fallout in 2011.

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Tragically, Japanese arguments for northern islands undermine its arguments for south-western islands (Senkaku/Diaoyu, whatever you like to call it), and its arguments for south-western islands undermine its arguments for northern islands. At least to readers outside Japan.

BTW, some people love to price my comments at 50 cents, but in reality, my opinions worth only 10 cents each. Thanks, for their generosity.

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northlondon,

ok the article is about fallout between Russia and Japan in 2011. Then what is the issue they are disagreeing about? Where if anywhere can you point me to people mentioning war crimes specifically. And if they are maybe that is because the current situation (the one now in 2011) in DIRECTLY linked to what happened in the 30's and 40's and even earlier. You see the two issues are linked! Without one the other would not have occured

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Hawkeye-

Honestly, what good are these islands for? They are desolate, have no natural resources

Kuril Islands are so rich in natural resources .. plus, smell of natural gas and oil -- well, thhere ARE reasons why Russia wants these islands.

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fishy, Russia has vast lands which they do not manage well at all. All the countries money are used only for Moscow. Just 40 minutes away from Moscow, you will arrive at the badly developed, no infrastructure little villages. Sad that those people are still drawing water from the wells. Moscow is just greedy and hated by the masses of Russia. They are hated by their own.

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JKanda- Isn't that just sad.. Russia (just like their neighbor China) putting so much effort to make their capital look great and the rest of the country is so poor with people who can't even afford good education.. sad sad.

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It was the Soviet Union (not Russia) that overstepped the marks at the end of WWII. They attacked and destroyed the garrison on Shumshu Island in the Northern Kuriles after the surrender, and after the Emperor had ordered Japan's armed forces to lay down their arms. They used tens of thousands of ex-Japanese soldiers as free labor/labour in terrible conditions in labor camps for years after the war. The problem is that the Soviet Union was moving to a different agenda and signing things later than generally-accepted international peace treaties. If the USSR took the Kuriles when Japan was in no legal state to fight back, argue, then Russia has inherited the old status quo.

It would definitely be in Russia's long-term interest to hand back those two closest and smaller islands to Japan. They may seem like barren rocks to some, but they are also home to others. Home is where the heart is.

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Russia should keep sending stragetic bombers flying high over the Sea of Japan like the cold war days to remind such a 'forgetful' neighbour!

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@nadakandamamnda:It would definitely be in Russia's long-term interest to hand back those two closest and smaller islands to Japan.

That was an extremely dangerous and reckless action. Just like giving the Sudatan to Hitler, today Japan seeking those Kurile islands someday theys eeking the entire Seberia! By the way, Japan deserved to lost those islands if you view their war time conducts and post war unsincerely apologies that irked all the neighbouring countries!

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No, I don't think Japan is like that today. In fact I am sure she isn't.

Even if Russia, China and North Korea continue to prod Japan, she is still a long way from becoming an aggressive entity. Most of Japan's neighbors are actually disappointed by her inactivity. If, however, Russia continues to play games, to poke and prod her, to needle her on sensitive issues, then gradually they may eventually awake the sleeping warrior deep within, but not for a long time yet.

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I think the U.S. should respond, and respond forcefully, to show Russia that this soviet style aggresion wont be tolerated in this modern era of international discource.

Hahaha!

Hahahahahaha! Oh, my goodness......

You mean like the modern international discource the USA engaged in prior to invading Iraq and Afghanistan!?

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This is embarrassing.

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The islands were Japanese. Theres NO real reason to really get crazy over the islands, baron place, Bad winters. Resources? economic value in terms of fisheries and also mineral deposits of pyrite, sulfur, BIG DEAL! Russia is paranoid & Over reacting by sending weapons?! what do they think will happen jp will attack?

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Raymasaki, I don't think it's about how many square miles a land has or doesn't have. The issue is clearly political: just as much as Maehara would like to make the return of the islands his "big achievement", so does Medvedev need to show his political strength and ability to protect even the smallest part of the country far away from Moscow. And it doesn't matter how disputed that little part is - today, to the vast majority of Russians, whether they are aware of the historical background or not, it's a Russian territory, inhabited by Russians. Which is something Japan so aggressively fails to understand, seemingly relying only upon the extremely vague (and weak) concepts of "historical justice" and "international law".

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Russia will never forget the HUMILIATION of losing to little Japan back in 1905, this is not just about WW2, puny Japan had a better navy and army back in 1905, Russia lost that war, felt really bad,then in WW2 the USA, UK, RUSSIA and CHINA were are fighting against the evil, bad guys, the Nazis in Germany, the Italians?? I love their food, and wine, cars women, and yes Dai Nippon Teikoku, 大日本帝国, as wacky Imperialist Japan was known back when Japan thought that after kicking the USA up in the head over in Pearl Harbor that it was unstoppable? So, the Ruskys, just to kind of remind the Japanese that Moscow is far, but that the Russian territory is just a stone throws away from Hokkaido. What a waste! If Japan would say, sure, ok, those islands are Russian, but let us come up with an economic plan to really develop not only these puny islands but connect northern Japan to Vladistok etc..both countries would get more $$$$$!!! Now just a stupid waste!

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The Russians are being unnecessarily provocative, IMHO. The Japanese aren't going to attack. Get real.

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There's three things that matter: face, face and face. And these two countries' respective leaders are pigheaded enough to cause some concern.

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AuntyAmerican said: "Hahaha!

Hahahahahaha! Oh, my goodness......

You mean like the modern international discource the USA engaged in prior to invading Iraq and Afghanistan!?"

No, I don't think that's what they meant. Nice try though.

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There's three things that matter: face, face and face. And these two countries' respective leaders are pigheaded enough to cause some concern.

That's true. Kan's move this time is quite questionable, since he directly attacked the president's action. His "unforgivable outrage"-- a word directly translated into English stirred up political indignation. It's not communication among Japanese. You can't expect your partner to assume that "unforgivable outrage" is a joke, if he/she is a non-Japanese. He chose a hard way. And Medvedev agreed.

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Now is the time for diplomacy. Talk is far more reasonable than bullets

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Reply to: Hokkaidoguy.

Re:

"If you honestly think that Russia will ever be part of NATO's missile shield, I have a bridge to sell you. Apparently you forgot the crisis in NATO-Russian relations surrounding Georgia, despite the fact that it's mentioned in the article".

Ssssshhhh, not so loud. If the Soviet Russians Politicians hear about it, they will bend the truth and say that; NATO was their idea in the first place, and claim Nato for themselves.

It is true that if the Soviet had not been in Berlin, then there most likely would not be NATO.

It all started with the Berling Air Lift back in the 40's.

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I honestly believe that it may be time for Japan to give up their claim on these islands. Yes, they were Japanese, but Russia is never going to hand them back, and let's face it, Japan only has themselves to blame for the situation.

A better approach may be to seek financial compensation / shared exploration rights and potentially, a security pact. (A wise Japan would be playing Russia off against China at this point in time).

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1. "Russia will send more weapons to its islands in north Pacific, President Dmitry Medvedev announced Wednesday—a mere two days after Japan again demanded that Russia return several islands it has held since the end of World War II".

To: Richie Rich.

"I honestly believe that it may be time for Japan to give up their claim on these islands. Yes, they were Japanese",

"but Russia is never going to hand them back, and let's face it, Japan only has themselves to blame for the situation".

You got half of it right.

Think about it, from a different angle. You presume that the past is the blue print for the future.

Scenario:

If it was all reliant on your understanding and logic, to design a new model Toyota. There would not be a new model Toyota. Right, because it is beyond your mind skills to create it.

If it all relied on you, the current world record high jump would not be broken. Right, because it is beyond you to break it.

It it all relied on you, there would be no cure for malaria. Right because it is beyond your mind to find the solution.

So why do you rely on your ability and understanding, to give out a blue print of future events?

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Japan should send some weapons too.

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Is it just me or has PM Kan really been pandering to the hard right lately? First the tension with China, now aggravating Russia and vowing to bury dead soldiers on Iwo Jima... it all adds up to one thing, PM Kan is trying to distract the Japanese populace from his failed administration by playing on fear of China and Russia.

Personally I think its going to backfire badly, and its extremely ill-timed at a point in Japan's history when Japan has no military to speak of and is reliant on the U.S. (which is already fighting a war on 2 fronts) for any military assistance. The Japanese public isn't prepared for another war, and the Japanese military... well it's laughable. Oh, and even if it doesn't come to war Japan is economically dependant on Russia and China, so economically this is daft too.

PM Kan is selfishly putting his political career before the best interests of the Japanese public.

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Ah, Japan would call it 'unforgivable' others would call it 'the breaks' or even 'the hard way' but from now on Russia will simply call ' making sweet love to you ' Japan should be happy only this is happening, with it's political state in such a mess. I am sure Maehara is not to downhearted because he knows that although this has happened, there is still room to maneuver, and negotiate, but the ante has been raised and Japn has to come to the table with something substantial if it is to save face and satisfy Russia, ofcourse Japan should have done this a very long time ago, and now the price will be considerably higher. I truly hope the best for the Japan and I also think the Russians are genius for picking this time to do this, but deep down I hope Maehara pulls this one out for Japan. I am a fan of his and think he is the only hope for Japan future, he doesn't seem to be by many, but he has it to be Japan's hero, and I hope he ceases the moment.

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To: Frungy.

Haallooo! Re: JT–Article.

“The disagreement over the southern Kuril islands, known in Japan as the Northern Territories, has long been a sticking point between the two countries. It also has kept them from signing a formal peace treaty ending their World War II hostilities”.

Comment: “Is it just me or has PM Kan really been pandering to the hard right lately? First the tension with China, now aggravating Russia and vowing to bury dead soldiers on Iwo Jima.”

No, I don’t think it’s just you. The roots of the issue go back to the 1940’s.

The issue is: Enough is enough, no more Soviet Communist style manipulation and exploitation.

It is not just the Japanese islands, but there are similar border violations in Europe, Caucasus, Baltic and the Nordic region.

But the in principle they have the similar “Invader” taking territory from the other. And it was always a small State, small population, or at the time of weakness when the Soviet jumped.

I think you are making wrong assertions on the PM of Japan. The issue goes back a long time in time. “Why did they say something earlier”?

You may ask. Well, well what do you know the history of a totalitarian regime? Freedom of speech is the first one to go out the window.

It went out the window, and it did not find its way back in until the 80’s. It’s true, read the history.

The PM of Japan is right in my opinion to respect and honor those that have fallen in wars. Who is to judge his motive when the proposal is correct, I think it is a cheap shot on the other hand to blame him.

Most people agree that there has to be rule of law between different countries. E.g. the International Law.

Most people expect consistency across the board. Being open with their past War Crimes, and not denial.

There is the USSR/Russian that has not come clean, they have been avoiding the denying the real issues since they happened in the 1940’s. That’s why the along the border many States have not got their territory back.

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Japan needs to start utilizing the islands again to control this uncomfortable situation that started during the end of WWII. The U.S. should aid in this since Japan was truly fighting America when Russia came in and took control of the territory. Most of the residents would like Japan to play a bigger role on the islands from what I've read. Anything below Urup should be mostly Japanese as it was after the mid 19th century. Geographically Japan should want these islands for protection and Russia does not need to come in with more weapons. Kunashiri is a stones throw from Hokkaido. JP could get weapons there in minutes. Act on your emotions Han and put your money where your mouth is. Sharing the islands for protection makes a lot of sense, but if you don't do anything beyond venting, Hokkaido may become Hokashir.

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& now with America looking like it may pull military forces out of Japan looks like Japan is all on its own to deal with this! No more BIG brother to protect us! Time to heal some bad diplomatic choices & stand on our own 2 feet!!!

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