Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meet on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, on Thursday. Photo: Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS
politics

Abe urges Putin to fulfill 'historical duty' to sign peace treaty

54 Comments

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday to step up efforts to resolve a long-standing territorial dispute between their countries and sign a postwar peace treaty, calling it their "historical duty."

"The new relationship of cooperation between Japan and Russia is becoming more apparent thanks to our work," Abe said in a speech at a regional economic forum in Vladivostok in the Russian Far East as Putin listened.

"And beyond that, we have a historical duty to sign a peace treaty. Let's fulfill our responsibility to history. Let's sign a peace treaty and set free the unlimited potential of our people," the Japanese leader said.

Japan and Russia are engaged in a row over the sovereignty of four Russian-held islands lying off Hokkaido in northern Japan, which has prevented them from signing a formal peace treaty since the end of World War II.

Putin confirmed Thursday his agreement with Abe last year to accelerate peace treaty talks based on a 1956 joint declaration, which mentions Moscow handing over two of the four islands.

The Soviet Union took control of the islands -- collectively called the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russia -- after Japan's surrender on Aug. 15, 1945.

The joint declaration stipulates Moscow hands over to Tokyo the two smaller islands -- Shikotan and the Habomai islet group -- once a peace treaty is concluded. The other two are Etorofu and Kunashiri islands.

At a bilateral meeting earlier in the day, the leaders agreed to continue "future-oriented" negotiations, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

Putin aide Yuri Ushakov said the leaders agreed to preserve existing cooperation frameworks but there was "no change" regarding the peace treaty issue, Interfax news agency reported.

The leaders will meet again in November on the fringes of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile, Ushakov said.

Moscow has recently hardened its stance on the issue. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev last month visited the largest of the islands, Etorofu, drawing protests from Tokyo.

Earlier Thursday, Putin hailed the opening of a seafood processing factory on Shikotan by sending a video message to a ceremony marking the start of operations, a move seen as flaunting Russia's control of the islands.

Abe reiterated Tokyo's claim to the islands to Putin, Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kotaro Nogami told reporters.

Despite the lack of progress on the issue, Abe and Putin said after their previous meeting in June that they would move ahead with plans to conduct joint economic activities on the islands. They confirmed Thursday a pilot program for tourism will start in October.

"I welcome the fact that our agreement is being steadily implemented," Abe said at the outset of Thursday's meeting, held on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum.

Putin said bilateral relations "are stable and developing dynamically," and that he looks forward to discussing future cooperation with the Japanese leader.

It was the 27th bilateral meeting between the leaders.

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

54 Comments
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"I welcome the fact that our agreement is being steadily implemented," Abe said ....

What is he talking about? The new seafood processing factory on Shikotan built by (or for) Russia?

This meeting as the many others before will not change anything.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

It is a waste of time. It is like talking to a wall. Russia is a mean country.

4 ( +15 / -11 )

What the hell? Abe rabbits on about getting these islands back, getting kidnapped people back but nothing happens,

time to take that blue ribbon badge off you suit. He has absolutely no power at all. Watch the Osaka photo video not one of the other world leaders even acknowledge him.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Japan renounced its rights to these islands when it signed the San Francisco Peace Treaty, but continues to whine. This is exactly what Hapan accuses South Korea of doing. Hilarious.

3 ( +17 / -14 )

Japan renounced its rights to these islands when it signed the San Francisco Peace Treaty, but continues to whine. This is exactly what Hapan accuses South Korea of doing. Hilarious.

Japan signed that "Peace Treaty" as an Occupied (non independent foreign policy) Nation. Thus, null and void.

Japan and PM Abe want Japans Northern Territories returned. PM Abe will continue to fight and negotiate until this is realized. Putin can see the huge opportunity for big money for gas export to Japan.

-9 ( +12 / -21 )

Chip StarToday  05:42 pm JST

Japan renounced its rights to these islands when it signed the San Francisco Peace Treaty, but continues to whine. This is exactly what Hapan accuses South Korea of doing. Hilarious.

But neither Japan nor the other Allied victor nations assigned any administration rights to the Soviet Union. To this day the United States and United Kingdom consider these 4 Southern Kurile islands to be Japanese territory under Russian "administration" ie; occupation.

-4 ( +15 / -19 )

“Japan signed that "Peace Treaty" as an Occupied (non independent foreign policy) Nation. Thus, null and void.”

So did Germany and Italy,and if you learn a bit more about history every country or coalition that lose a conflict will have treaties imposes by the winners.

The congress of Vienna could be a good reference to start learn a bit.

The islands are Russians and this won’t change.

4 ( +15 / -11 )

Any Japanese politician asking if war is the way to get them back?

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

If it is Trump, he might solve the issue.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Japan signed that "Peace Treaty" as an Occupied (non independent foreign policy) Nation. Thus, null and void.

Lol...yeah Ok...lovely logic...perhaps Japan shouldnt have joined the wrong side and loose the WW2 , then it wouldnt have been occupied and lost any territory. Alas winners are keepers. Starting and loosing a war kinda makes one,s arguments ' null and void ' as you say.

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

Putin kidnaps, tortures, and murders his rivals. Best of luck in trying to negotiate with him.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Marcelito I’m not defending him at all.

You should read more calmly my words.

This means that if a country lose the war and get conditions imposed by another it must be accepted.

So Japan as Italy or Germany have no rights to claim back their lost territories.

Especially because they started the war.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

My apologize Marcelito.

Reading from my small phone made me misunderstand and I though you were referring on my post.

My apologizes.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The islands are Russians and this won’t change.

Yikes, the ever vigilant downvoters will not like that factual comment

4 ( +13 / -9 )

William77

Japan and Russia had a neutrality treaty. Russia cancelled the treaty and declared a war on Aug. 9 one week before Japan surrendered on Aug. 15. This is a nasty thing.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

It is said, possession is nine tenths of the law.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan and Russia had a neutrality treaty. Russia cancelled the treaty and declared a war on Aug. 9 one week before Japan surrendered on Aug. 15. This is a nasty thing.

Yah....nasty..guess Japan ,s actions at Pearl Harbor and in following years during their steamrolling across Asia were not nasty at all...pretty sure Russians didnt like Japan partnering up with the ' nasty ' Nazis thanks to whom Russia lost what...around 25 million people...let that number sink in.

This whole ongoing whining about these islands is a pointless runaround..Just look at Putin and Lavrov,s body language in that photo.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

pretty sure Russians didnt like Japan partnering up with the ' nasty ' Nazis thanks to whom Russia lost what...around 25 million people...let that number sink in.

What are you talking about? The Russians were also partnered up with the Nazis. Stalin didn't give a flying fart, he was happy to kill millions of Russians himself. He just wanted to grab some easy territory.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

In a changing world, relationship is changing too.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Japan signed that "Peace Treaty" as an Occupied (non independent foreign policy) Nation. Thus, null and void.

Interesting how some people say null and void for treaties when it comes to Japan but when it comes to Korea, the Japanese say otherwise. Rampant double standards and blatant hypocrisy.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Japan and Russia had a neutrality treaty. Russia cancelled the treaty and declared a war on Aug. 9 one week before Japan surrendered on Aug. 15. This is a nasty thing.

So when Japan attacked Russia three hours before it actually declared war on Russia in 1904, that isn't nasty? Why is it always nasty when Japan is the victim, but when Japan is the aggressor it's okay to bully the victims? Do you guys have any sense of moral conscious?

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Fulfill your historical duty!

Wow! That's telling him, Abe-san!

Masterly!

(Sarcasm)

3 ( +6 / -3 )

They are in a dead look and they know it.

Russia cannot give the Islands back as long as Japan is allied with the USA and has a US Base on its territory.

Japan is pushed not to give up the islands by an aging baby boomer generation and US pressures.

Would both be able to face facts they would have to give all those islands back to the Ainu who are the rightful original owners of those.

The Ainu already petitioned the Russian Government one two occasions, signaling that they would be willing to become part of the Russian Federation if grated autonomy and all Ainu territories returned to them.

They also asked for the UN to look into their claim.

Russia proposed a joint administration of the islands, that would include all parties involved and that may be the best possible outcome for all.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

In Hokkaido cities celebrate their 150th foundation this year.

well historical is ainu which has a russian term too for the same minority of people.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday to step up efforts to resolve a long-standing territorial dispute between their countries and sign a postwar peace treaty, calling it their "historical duty."

What territorial dispute? Oh! the one made up by Japan.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

But neither Japan nor the other Allied victor nations assigned any administration rights to the Soviet Union.

Okay, but you agree that Japan renounced its ownership of these islands in the SF Peace Treaty.

To this day the United States and United Kingdom consider these 4 Southern Kurile islands to be Japanese territory under Russian "administration" ie; occupation.

Correct, but not the full story:

"This article looks at two prevalent misconceptions about the U.S. government's policies on the Kuril - Northern Territories - Islands dispute. The first is that Roosevelt agreed at the Yalta Conference to cede "all" of the Kurils to the Soviet Union. In fact, the Yalta agreement never used the word "all" and it was only during August 1945, during a series of exchanges between Stalin and Truman, that Truman agreed in General Order No. 1 to grant the USSR occupation rights to "all" of the Kurils, including the southernmost islands traditionally considered to be part of Hokkaido. The Department of State's interpretation of the Yalta agreement and General Order No. 1 was that the Soviet occupation of the southernmost Kuril islands was intended to be a temporary military occupation only, until such a time that a Soviet-Japanese peace treaty transferred sovereignty of the Kurils to the USSR. The second misconception concerns the so-called "Dulles Threat Incident" of 1956, when Secretary of State John Foster Dulles told Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu that if Japan gave up its claim to the southern Kurils to the USSR, then the United States might feel obliged to retain Okinawa in perpetuity. A large number of Scholars, and especially Soviet scholars, have claimed that Dulles's "threat" was intended to torpedo the renewal of friendly Japanese-Soviet relations. By examining newly declassified documents, this article shows that Dulles was actually trying to help the Japanese negotiators by offering them American-backed leverage against the Soviet Union. This article concludes that, contrary to many scholarly criticisms, the United States government's policy on the Kuril Island dispute has been consistent in stating that in the absence of an offical peace treaty, the disputed islands remain Japanese territory."

https://www.jstor.org/stable/2761081?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

We can see that Japan is trying to reneg on the SF Peace Treaty by demanding these islands back, which is one reason Japan and Eussia have not signed a peace treaty.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Japan lost the war and were dealt severe penalties they shouldn't never have accepted but they did.

One of the penalties was letting the US military troops occupy Japanese soil and the other involved giving up territory, both penalties are still in effect today.

Russia offered the Japanese government two islands a while back but greedy Abe-chan declined that offer.

Now the Japanese government must bide their time until Russia offers something to them again and take it, Abe-chan is in no position to urge Putin to do anything.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

What did Russia do when historical injustice perceived by Putin and territory lost during the 90s when USSR collapse?

They took Crimea by force

Those who are Anti-Japan can you make excuses for Russia?

What they didn't have enough land? Plus the Artic which Russia also claims as theirs.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Agree, Abe seems to be reneging on the SF Peace Treaty.

Japan renounces all right, title and claim to the Kurile Islands, and to that portion of Sakhalin and the islands adjacent to it over which Japan acquired sovereignty as a consequence of the Treaty of Portsmouth of September 5, 1905. 1

https://treaties.un.org/doc/publication/unts/volume%20136/volume-136-i-1832-english.pdf

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Japan is not reneging on the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty. If they were, why would the US and UK support

Japan's position. Duh,

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Playing devils advocate, why would you give back a strategic position when your key 'enemy' has around 54,000 U.S. military personnel stationed there? There are more American soldiers based in Japan than in any other foreign country. From a strategic point of view, it would be a bad move. If America has never left, why should Russia? Also, I believe in the next 20 - 30 years America and China will kick off. America is already encouraging Japan to rearm and is also building naval basis in South Korea, so Russia will want to stay in the area. I have no side to pick as my army (the mighty Irish armed forces) has a more important job to do, and that is, hassle the odd Spanish fishing boat from time to time!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

What a joke ???.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

That's a straw that's not going to be grasped

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan signed that "Peace Treaty" as an Occupied (non independent foreign policy) Nation. Thus, null and void.

Well you forgot to mention the 1956 Soviet–Japanese peace talks where the two sides agreed to split two islands for each but the US intervened and blocked the deal with the threat that Japan will not get Okinawa if it moved on this deal. So Russia and Japan can talk as much they want, without the US blessings there will be no deal ever.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hehehe, Abe said "duty."

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What are you talking about? The Russians were also partnered up with the Nazis. 

Indeed they were but that was before Adolf changed his mind , played Napoleon and invaded Russia....so afer they were attacked the Russians kinda changed their mind about Nazi Germany and its allies, wouldnt you say? That Stalin was a tyrant who also starved his own doesnt change the fact Soviets lost over 20 million people fighting the Nazis at all.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I’m not sure if Putin is motivated by historical duty, but he does have a sense of humor, so naming the resolution “The Putin Peace Accords” might work.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Agreed with Abe, man up Putin!

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

What are the alternatives to peace ?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

"Historical duty" from a history denier and a Trump lap dog? Oh how Putin must be laughing... hahaha. All Putin needs to do, if anything at all, because he doesn't, is say, "Look... one of your top advisors said we should go to war over the islands. Shall we?" and watch Abe cry.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Agree, Abe seems to be reneging on the SF Peace Treaty

Seriously, Abe is the king of reneging treaties. Last week, ex PM Hatoyama-san made the following statements in Seoul.

"The Japanese government should go back to its judgment that as for the issue of laborers, the individual rights to claim damages were not completely and finally resolved in the 1965 treaty," said Hatoyama, who served as prime minister in 2009-2010.

Hatoyama said that Shunji Yanai, then director of the treaty bureau at Japan's foreign ministry in 1991, told a parliamentary session at the time that the normalization treaty did not put an end to individual rights to damages.

"It was the official view of the Japanese government in the past, that (forced labor issue) was not finally and completely resolved by the treaty," he said.

Seriously how does one put on a straight face and lie non stop?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

AlexBecu: "They took Crimea by force"

Alex subjectively forgetting yet again. Japan has taken nothing at all by force in history? You say it is right when they did it, and it should be forgotten. When it was done to them you cry foul, even though they were islands that did not belong to them originally. I'd say it's astounding, but knowing the right-wing bent, it is simply, and easily, predictable.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Eventually Putin will be gone. Then progress can be made. Just have to wait.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@ Tom Doley

What has your recurring pro Korean government propaganda have to do with this article?

Eventually Putin will be gone.Then progress can be made

Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union when the international treaty was signed and there have been many leaders since then.

Putin being replaced is not going to magically give the islands back to Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Chip Star

General Order No.1 even as revised to include “all of the Kurile islands” was not and could not have been an authorization of annexation. This order merely determined the areas where Japanese forces would surrender to the Soviets as opposed to American forces. It was not intended nor could it have any impact on territory. This is obvious when one considers that if this order did have territorial impact, the Soviet could have annexed Manchuria and North Korea as well.

 

Peace in Northeast Asia: Resolving Japan's Territorial and Maritime Disputes ...

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Osaka_DougSep. 5  08:42 pm JST

Agree, Abe seems to be reneging on the SF Peace Treaty.

Japan renounces all right, title and claim to the Kurile Islands, and to that portion of Sakhalin and the islands adjacent to it over which Japan acquired sovereignty as a consequence of the Treaty of Portsmouth of September 5, 1905. 1

No dead wrong. Those 4 islands became Japanese territories peacefully by the Treaty of Shimoda 1855. Amazing so many still misunderstands it, which was also the reason FDR got ill-informed how to define the Kuril islands at Yaluta.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Putin .... If that was the agreement, then it’s about time to give them back.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ganbare, Japan signed the 1965 SF Treaty and re-wrote it’s constitution as an occupied nation. So let’s go back to the Imperial Days of Emperor worship and claim ownership to all the territories Japan had to give up after the war? Scary.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Indeed they were but that was before Adolf changed his mind , played Napoleon and invaded Russia....so afer they were attacked the Russians kinda changed their mind about Nazi Germany and its allies, wouldnt you say? 

No, it would just mean they changed their mind about Germany. Japan being still allied with Germany provided a convenient pretext for invasion, but nothing more.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If this so-called disputed territory, or any territory which Japan claims is disputed is handed over to Japanese control, then the unfortunate residents of this territory would be under the jurisdiction of Japanese law.

I would not wish that on anybody, not even my worst enemy.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Agreed with Abe, man up Putin!"

Putin is more of a man than Abe and all his cabinet members put together will ever be....which PM or top level J-politician throws around opponents on a judo mat, pumps weights, hunts in the tundra and rides topless on a horseback?..lol

0 ( +0 / -0 )

which PM or top level J-politician throws around opponents on a judo mat, pumps weights, hunts in the tundra and rides topless on a horseback?

Somebody who feels he desperately needs to compensate for something?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Mr. PUTIN is no "Gorbachev", that will be deceieved by such a trick! You know "Valdimir" has no interest with Noble Peace Award!  From the picture above, we saw "Valdimir" is staring at Mr.Abe without any interest!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@vanityofvanities:  Russia is a mean country

That's true but who is not?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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