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Territorial disputes with Japan over, says Russian foreign minister

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ThubanToday 06:53 am JST

The Soviet Union was willing to return the two islands closest to Hokkaido in the compromise.

What's even better than two stolen islands is all four stolen islands.

Now they will never get anything back.

Japan can wait. Is Russia going to be at a state of war with all of its neighbors for the rest of its miserable existence?

3 ( +22 / -19 )

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday that all territorial disputes between Moscow and other countries, including Japan, are "over."

Boy it would be a shame if no one listens to old man Lavrov and Russia doesn't get to just decide these things unilaterally.

3 ( +17 / -14 )

So they’ve returned all the territories they’ve stolen?

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Is Germany going to get East Prussia back from Poland?

Joining a Nazi alliance in a war means you will inevitably face territorial loss. The lesson is applicable now as then.

Some quarters cannot accept the outcome of the Second World War and are in denial.

-5 ( +15 / -20 )

JJEToday 07:30 am JST

Is Germany going to get East Prussia back from Poland?

If you hadn't abused them into compliance they could still be demanding Kaliningrad from Russia. Just because you had one total surrender in your history doesn't mean Japan, Georgia, or Ukraine have surrendered to you.

Joining a Nazi alliance in a war means you will inevitably face territorial loss. The lesson is applicable now as then.

You are right that it is applicable now as Russia is up for some territorial loss.

Some quarters cannot accept the outcome of the Second World War and are in denial.

Some quarters cannot accept that thievery is not just forgotten.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

It's not fair when a country (Russia) takes your islands after you have surrendered. Just like it's not fair when a country (Japan) does a sneak-attack before formally declaring war.

War is not fair, and Japan should just accept it and move on.

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

Japan didn't surrender to the USSR - it surrendered to the Americans and kept on fighting in the far east - thus they forfeited those islands.

That's how these things work.

-10 ( +10 / -20 )

’To the Victor, go the spoils’

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

No fan of Russia in any of its guises - socialist, fascist - but Japan should be really, really thankful it didn't lose much more territory and get partitioned too, so stop the endless bellyaching. Few, except the credulous outside and the brainwashed inside, believe Japan was any kind of overall victim in WWII.

-6 ( +16 / -22 )

JJEToday 07:55 am JST

Japan didn't surrender to the USSR - it surrendered to the Americans and kept on fighting in the far east - thus they forfeited those islands.

That's how these things work.

Japan didn't surrender to Russia and there is no peace treaty between Japan and Russia so the issue is unsettled.

That's how these things work.

7 ( +17 / -10 )

njca4Today 07:48 am JST

It's not fair when a country (Russia) takes your islands after you have surrendered. Just like it's not fair when a country (Japan) does a sneak-attack before formally declaring war.

War is not fair, and Japan should just accept it and move on.

The sneak attack didn't result in forever territory changes, at least how things ended up. Two wrongs don't make a right.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

JJEToday 07:48 am JST

Hard to imagine, but there are defenders of Japan's WWII govt here - that means Tojo and his Axis alliance with Hitler and Mussolini.

These people really need to take a good, hard look in the mirror. Imagine defending Adolf Hitler's buddies.

Well you support Putin. Is there really any difference?

2 ( +12 / -10 )

Re-read the article. Moscow considers it settled. Bottom line.

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

JJEToday 08:01 am JST

Re-read the article. Moscow considers it settled. Bottom line.

I missed the part where that matters.

2 ( +14 / -12 )

Re-read the article. Moscow considers it settled. Bottom line.

They do… until the last two paragraphs at least. It’s language designed to have Japan remove sanctions.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

He continued, "Generally speaking, we don't have territorial disputes with any countries, including Japan."

Ukraine might have adifferent opinion.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Russia intends to give up nothing.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

""Lavrov made the remark, which could be interpreted as suggesting Moscow will never talk with Tokyo about the issue of sovereignty over Russian-held islands off Hokkaido, during an interview by the government-affiliated Channel One television network.""

That is exactly what it means, did anyone think otherwise?

Russia under Putin is expanding NOT shrinking!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Tokyo will remove the sanctions in the future in exchange for a peace treaty. No islands. Otherwise, more cooperation with China and others.

When he said "Generally speaking, we don't have territorial disputes with any countries, including Japan" he was also referring to Ukraine too, which is not viewed as a sovereign country by Moscow.

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

I bet Tokyo wishes their Kwantung Army surrendered when it ordered it to - instead they carried on fighting. Failure to do so resulted in loss of territory. End of story.

USA also took islands off Japan (Guam, Saipan and others), why aren't the pro-Axis give-back-territory crowd demanding that back?

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

@TaiwanIsNotChina

Japan can wait. Is Russia going to be at a state of war with all of its neighbors for the rest of its miserable existence?

Except that all of Japan's immediate neighbors recognize the Southern Kurils as Russian territory and pay a fishing tax to fish in the water.

Heck, even Japan pays a fishing tax to fish around the Southern Kurils, although Japan calls it a cooperation money.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

The US occupied these territories earlier through an imperialist war with Spain. The Philippines say 'hi' as well.

USA also took islands off Japan (Guam, Saipan)

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Good point. You'd think some of your neighbors would support your territorial claim but they just don't.

In fact, it's hard to find any country apart from US and Ukraine who support Tokyo's shonky claim to those islands.

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

The US told Japan not to make any deal with Moscow.

I don't know if that's true, but very good sources say they and Boris Johnson said the same to Ukraine, with disastrous results.

https://www.newsweek.com/russia-offered-end-war-if-ukraine-dropped-nato-bid-kyiv-official-1847373

4 ( +7 / -3 )

That's what happens when you have the US for a friend...Japan needs to plot its own course more and stop kowtowing to US demands which aren't in Japan's interests!

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

@kohakuebisu

very good sources say they and Boris Johnson said the same to Ukraine, with disastrous results.

And Russia gets to keep what it has taken upto that point.

Of course Zelensky would say no.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

@kohakuebisu

very good sources say they and Boris Johnson said the same to Ukraine, with disastrous results.

And Russia gets to keep what it has taken upto that point.

Of course Zelensky would say no.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

SanjinosebleedToday 09:27 am JST

That's what happens when you have the US for a friend...Japan needs to plot its own course more and stop kowtowing to US demands which aren't in Japan's interests!

Not having the US for a friend would have cost Japan Hokkaido and half of Honshu.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

kohakuebisuToday 09:23 am JST

The US told Japan not to make any deal with Moscow.

I don't know if that's true, but very good sources say they and Boris Johnson said the same to Ukraine, with disastrous results.

https://www.newsweek.com/russia-offered-end-war-if-ukraine-dropped-nato-bid-kyiv-official-1847373

What was on the table was surrendering territory. No country would agree to that.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Tokyo will remove the sanctions in the future in exchange for a peace treaty

Not saying I think Japan will get the islands back, just saying it's Russians trying to have the sanctions removed. Japan, whether they are right or wrong, will not talk about a peace treaty without the islands on the table. Japan will remove the sanctions when Russia stops waging war against its neighbor. Russia, with or without the islands on the table, won't talk peace while American forces are in Japan.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

deanzaZZRToday 09:21 am JST

The US occupied these territories earlier through an imperialist war with Spain. The Philippines say 'hi' as well.

USA also took islands off Japan (Guam, Saipan)

Yes, thank you for proving our last imperialist expansion was in 1898. Saipan has a clear UN mandate to be a territory of the US and the Philippines is a good ally now.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

EastmanToday 09:09 am JST

Kuril islands are part of RF as result of WW2 when they became part of USSR.

end of story.

I guess you figure if you jump up and down enough it can be the end of the story.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

JJEToday  07:55 am JST

Japan didn't surrender to the USSR - it surrendered to the Americans and kept on fighting in the far east - thus they forfeited those islands.

Total nonsense. Japan surrenderd to the Allies which included the USSR. All Imperial Japanese forces were ordered to stand down. All Allied forces ended any offensives against Japan - except for the USSR.

In addition to taking territory after Japan's declaration of surrender, the USSR violated the Allied Cairo Declaration which stipulated that only territories taken by Japan through war would be taken away. Those 4 islands became Japanese through a negotiated treaty with Russia in 1855.

To this date, the United States, UK, and EU consider these 4 islands to be Japanese terrotory under Russian occupation, Russia is a country of thieves, be it Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, or Japan.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

JJEToday 08:44 am JST

In fact, it's hard to find any country apart from US and Ukraine who support Tokyo's shonky claim to those islands.

It's almost as if Japan's neighbors are garbage countries except for SK.

Tokyo will remove the sanctions in the future in exchange for a peace treaty. No islands. Otherwise, more cooperation with China and others.

Through Putin's shear strength of will? Last I checked that sent Finland and Sweden into NATO.

When he said "Generally speaking, we don't have territorial disputes with any countries, including Japan" he was also referring to Ukraine too, which is not viewed as a sovereign country by Moscow.

And you don't consider that a fascist position at all I bet.

I bet Tokyo wishes their Kwantung Army surrendered when it ordered it to - instead they carried on fighting. Failure to do so resulted in loss of territory. End of story.

No, Tokyo wishes the USSR hadn't cowardly just refused to renew a peace treaty despite there being every reason to do so. They probably also regret that the US gave the USSR the boats to carry out their little theft. No story is over until all sides say it is over.

USA also took islands off Japan (Guam, Saipan and others), why aren't the pro-Axis give-back-territory crowd demanding that back?

As deanza pointed out, either older territory held by the US or with a clear mandate from the UN, including by the USSR. Also ratified by the Treaty of San Francisco by Japan.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Please link to a State Department document. I cannot find one with a quick search.

To this date, the United States, UK, and EU consider these 4 islands to be Japanese terrotory

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Thuban Today 06:53 am JST

The US told Japan not to make any deal with Moscow.

Ah, like how the US told Ukraine not to make any deal with Russia. Got to keep those geo-political cards on the board it seems.

Njca4 Today 07:48 am JST

Just like it's not fair when a country (Japan) does a sneak-attack before formally declaring war.

Yep. It is also not far when a group (The League of Nations) you (Japan) join specifically informs you that the group will not uphold a principle of equality for members within the group ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racial_Equality_Proposal ). It is also not fair when a country (The United States) jumps in the middle of your (Japan’s) colonial ambitions by first arming the opposition (China) and then by placing an embargo on you all while ignoring the rampant colonial ambitions of its friends ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prelude_to_the_attack_on_Pearl_Harbor ). Yes. There is a whole lot of unfairness going on.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@JJE

Japan's right wingers would prefer that Japan's border with Russia today be somewhere around Fukushima, not north of Hokkaido.

That's what would have happened if Japan continued to fight without surrendering.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Hahaha! Sergey Lavrov is a laugh a minute. Paid to say that green is red, or vice versa.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

jeffyToday 10:43 am JST

Thuban Today 06:53 am JST

The US told Japan not to make any deal with Moscow.

Ah, like how the US told Ukraine not to make any deal with Russia. Got to keep those geo-political cards on the board it seems.

Meanwhile, in the real world, Japan and Ukraine are quite capable and do make decisions for themselves.

Yep. It is also not far when a group (The League of Nations) you (Japan) join specifically informs you that the group will not uphold a principle of equality for members within the group ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racial_Equality_Proposal ). It is also not fair when a country (The United States) jumps in the middle of your (Japan’s) colonial ambitions by first arming the opposition (China) and then by placing an embargo on you all while ignoring the rampant colonial ambitions of its friends ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prelude_to_the_attack_on_Pearl_Harbor ). Yes. There is a whole lot of unfairness going on.

I suggest you take it up with the League of Nations and meanwhile don't invade China.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

TaiwanIsNotChina Today 11:21 am JST

I suggest you take it up with the League of Nations and meanwhile don't invade China.

Japan's imperialism followed upon the example set by Western nations. This is not to excuse it, but just a statement of fact. Western nations of course didn't like the competition and we all see where that led. Meanwhile, China today is trying establish itself at the center of a modern "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere." It is a strange psychological thing, but people usually dislike others who are the most like themselves.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The Ukraine deal was negotiated by Zelenskyy's representative. Of course they would accept something they negotiated themselves! They chose not to because Biden and Johnson said Ukraine would get huge military support (it didn't come) and could win any war. Ukraine has been used for a US proxy war of attrition and Johnson fantasies of being Winston Churchill, at huge cost to the Ukrainian people. Millions displaced, a large chunk of the country destroyed, war crimes. All avoidable.

Elsewhere in the interview, Arakhamia brought up former U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's surprise visit to Kyiv in April 2022. He said Johnson encouraged Ukraine to not "sign anything" with Russia and "just fight."

"Just fight" = millions displaced, widespread destruction, war crimes

The important thing here is that the same hawks will say the same thing if tensions ramp up between Japan and Russia or Japan and China over territory. Japan must not listen to such people and be used in this way.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

kohakuebisuToday 11:57 am JST

Reuters reported in September 2022 that people close to Kremlin leadership confirmed that Russian negotiators had struck a provisional deal with Kyiv that would keep Ukraine out of NATO, but Putin rejected the deal and continued with his invasion. Sources who spoke with Reuters said the Russian leader told his negotiations that the deal "did not go far enough and that he had expanded his objections to include annexing swathes of Ukrainian territory."

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Back to topic: The key takeaway from this article is that Moscow considers the issue closed - and as such it is and will forever remain so.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

If you think that Moscow will hand back those islands - the world's smallest violin playing just for you.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

JJEToday 12:58 pm JST

Back to topic: The key takeaway from this article is that Moscow considers the issue closed - and as such it is and will forever remain so.

You say that multiple times as if Moscow is the only one with a say in the matter.

If you think that Moscow will hand back those islands - the world's smallest violin playing just for you.

If you think Moscow gets its way all of the time - the world's smallest violin playing just for you.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

None of these island disputes ever get settled. They're just a way to distract and stir up the population.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I am sure China does not agree with that statement.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Fpr those who seem to be internet challenged, the U.S. position on the Southern Kuriles. From the Russian state owned news agency no less.

""On February 7th, as Japan observes Northern Territories day, I want to be crystal clear, the United States supports Japan on the issue of the Northern Territories and has recognized Japanese sovereignty over the four disputed Islands since the 1950s,"

https://tass.com/world/1399083?utm_source=google.com&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=google.com&utm_referrer=google.com

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Once upon a time, Russia claimed no territorial disputes exist between the two countries. I also recall that Lavrov himself once said Japan lost the northern territories because Japan surrendered unconditionally at the end of the war. Now Lavrov says the disputes are over. Japan is only obliged to respond with tougher measures.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

For those who seem to be unable to link to an official policy on the US State Department website, link to an article on TASS.

In fact the US took no formal position on territorial disputes in the Sea of Ohkotsk, the East China Sea or the South China Sea only suggesting that territorial disputes be settled peacefully. It was only in recent years that the neo-cons got in power that the US stance has begun to change. The US State Department came out in support of the Philippines officially only this year as the Biden neo-cons are ratcheting up pressure on China. It is quite ironic that the USA is not a signatory of UNCLOS while at the same time sighting that as a rational.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Moscow is the only party with a say in the matter as possession is 9/10ths of the law.

And the 2020 Russian constitutional amendment forbids the Russian Federation from giving back any territory that is declared to be a part of the country - which makes it 11/10ths of the law.

White noise out of Tokyo is irrelevant I think you will find.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

43 kilometers across the sea from a rival for who would rather waste tens of thousands of their own soldiers lives than make good economic use of their very smart scientists and engineers, there aren't a lot of options where Japan can come out ahead on the issue of those islands. Japan is already ahead in sensibility.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

deanzaZZRToday 04:30 pm JST

For those who seem to be unable to link to an official policy on the US State Department website, link to an article on TASS.

In fact the US took no formal position on territorial disputes in the Sea of Ohkotsk, the East China Sea or the South China Sea only suggesting that territorial disputes be settled peacefully. It was only in recent years that the neo-cons got in power that the US stance has begun to change. The US State Department came out in support of the Philippines officially only this year as the Biden neo-cons are ratcheting up pressure on China. It is quite ironic that the USA is not a signatory of UNCLOS while at the same time sighting that as a rational.

It's quite ironic that China thinks bringing up the US matters when it has a dispute with ALL of the other South China Sea countries that are members.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

JJEToday 04:46 pm JST

Moscow is the only party with a say in the matter as possession is 9/10ths of the law.

And the 2020 Russian constitutional amendment forbids the Russian Federation from giving back any territory that is declared to be a part of the country - which makes it 11/10ths of the law.

White noise out of Tokyo is irrelevant I think you will find.

Sounds like a bunch of fascist nonsense to me. This is why your country ain't got no friends.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

deanzaZZRToday  04:30 pm JST

For those who seem to be unable to link to an official policy on the US State Department website, link to an article on TASS.

Learn how to search for things by yourself on the internet. The U.S, position on the Southern Kuriles has remained unchanged since 1949. That tjhe US considerrs them Japanes territpry is an undisputed fact.

Show us a link from a State Dept page that claims otherwise.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

First and foremost, Russian Federation is pariah state, a dictatorship.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov statement has to be viewed with the contempt it warrants and disserves.

Japan northern territories indigenous peoples,The Ainu, will never relinquish their spiritual home.

Ainu Culture

https://ainu-upopoy.jp/en/ainu-culture/#:~:text=The%20Ainu%20are%20an%20indigenous,the%20Japanese%20archipelago%2C%20particularly%20Hokkaido.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Russia was never going to give anything back. Ask Ukraine

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's over? Russia is finally giving up its claims to Ainu territory and stopping it's illegal occupation of the Northern Territories? Great! When can we expect them to get the phuck out?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan says the same thing with the Senkakus -- there is no dispute. The islands are theirs. Sadly, in the case of the Kuriles, they are Russian. Period.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Japan had the chance to get two of them back but scoffed. Well... not laughing now, I guess.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

smithinjapanDec. 19 10:59 pm JST

Japan had the chance to get two of them back but scoffed. Well... not laughing now, I guess.

The principle of not allowing thievery or bullying is probably more important.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Well, the more salient point is - Japan has already agreed to surrender its claim to those islands in 1952. The whole "Let's redefine what Kuriles even means" is one of Japan's lowlights.

As for Russia, Japan's bribe would have to be huge to get those islands back. If you look at Russian history, voluntarily (or demi-voluntarily) giving up land doesn't work for them at all. They sold Alaska for what seemed like decent reasons at the time, but less than 100 years later events showed they'd be better off having a base on the North American continent. They let Ukraine go, and from their perspective it clearly didn't work out at all. The lesson is - other things (like money) are temporary, the advantage of holding land is permanent.

One of the consequences of the "No War" clause is that it is more risky and harder to give up land than ever. Used to be you can try letting a nationality become independent, or try handing some land over to settle things, because if it really doesn't work out you can always declare war on them and take it back. That threat also gives the new state an incentive to not pick a fight. But now land losses are permanent (at least in theory).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

AureliusToday 03:20 pm JST

He continued, "Generally speaking, we don't have territorial disputes with any countries, including Japan."

Like ive said repeatedly in the past Russia does NOT want Ukraine territory

Putin says two of his goals are "denazification" and disarmament. Tough to see how either would happen without Putin completely running the place.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiToday 10:19 am JST

Well, the more salient point is - Japan has already agreed to surrender its claim to those islands in 1952. The whole "Let's redefine what Kuriles even means" is one of Japan's lowlights.

Fortunately Russia is not a part of that treaty.

They sold Alaska for what seemed like decent reasons at the time, but less than 100 years later events showed they'd be better off having a base on the North American continent.

So they could be a country on every continent? And they call America obese.

They let Ukraine go, and from their perspective it clearly didn't work out at all.

Yeah, it sucks having a country not sign up for your trade deal. The only way you could top that is if you invade them and make them mortal enemies for eternity.

The lesson is - other things (like money) are temporary, the advantage of holding land is permanent.

All the more reason why this fascist nonsense of how land tribute must be given has to be stopped now.

One of the consequences of the "No War" clause is that it is more risky and harder to give up land than ever. Used to be you can try letting a nationality become independent, or try handing some land over to settle things, because if it really doesn't work out you can always declare war on them and take it back. That threat also gives the new state an incentive to not pick a fight. But now land losses are permanent (at least in theory).

It's called self-determination and territorial integrity. I realize Russia was and still is too backward for those concepts to mean anything.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He's wrong and I guess he is as a foreign minister also an intelligent man and as such also very well knows that all too. The four islands have to be given back immediately without even any discussion because they were stolen with force. And then the real negotiations can begin , about the still open and the only to dispute about package which contains the southern part of Kurafuto / Sakhalin together wilh all other Kuril islands in northern direction up to shortly before Kamchatka. Any map and Atlas shows that, the disputable area is marked white and sometimes additionally remarked 'under dispute', not only on correct current Japanese maps, but also even on Atlas maps that were used for example at schools behind the Iron curtain during the Soviet era. So they know very well by their own what's the real and false situation makes different from the very true but still to be corrected theoretical situation.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Years ago, Putin told Lazarov that Japan will never get its land back. Putin was milking Japan for all the royal treatment he gets when visiting there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

These islands do not belong to Russia. But they don't belong to Japan either. This territory belongs to their indigenous inhabitants - the Ainu. And as long as there are Ainu in Japan, they will fight for them. And as long as there are Ainu in Russia, we will fight for them.

https://www.tron.ru/2014/02/blog-post_7.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Senkakus are ours because we occupied them, but the Kuriles are not Russia's even though they occupy them now and have done for a long time.

Confusing, isn't it?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

gaijintravellerToday 05:10 pm JST

The Senkakus are ours because we occupied them, but the Kuriles are not Russia's even though they occupy them now and have done for a long time.

Confusing, isn't it?

Only the Russian believes that squatting helps you aquire territory legally.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

TaiwanIsNotChina

My point is quite clear. Japan also believes squatting entitles you to territory when it is to Japan's advantage.

On the subject of squatting are the Kuomintan squatting in Taiwan or is the Communist Party squatting in China, and what is their entitlement to the land they are squatting on?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

gaijintravellerToday 06:25 pm JST

TaiwanIsNotChina

My point is quite clear. Japan also believes squatting entitles you to territory when it is to Japan's advantage.

That's the thing, though, China can't claim to have had someone living on the Senkakus at any point. That's completely different from Japan and the Kurils.

On the subject of squatting are the Kuomintan squatting in Taiwan or is the Communist Party squatting in China, and what is their entitlement to the land they are squatting on?

CCP is squatting in China as they are the ones that broke off from the ROC.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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