However, Japan has its own territorial claims to Russia as a special case. But in fact this issue is beyond the scope of Russian-Japanese relations and is a claim to review the outcome of World War II. Tokyo has no rights and no chances to get these isles back
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It is a question of nationality. Those Japanese who recognize the northern territories are real Japanese , but those who do not recognize they are not real one. But it is absolutly incorrect Kuril Islands are Russian territory, which is confirmed by international legal acts, and the Russian Federation has no reason to change its position on the territorial issue related to the ownership of islands.
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In recent days Japanese government progressively brings up question of the South Kuril Islands Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan and Habomai, which are under Russian administration. Tokyo believes that it is Japanese territory and demands returning the islands according to Japan-Russia Trade and Friendship Treaty of 1855, which fixed the border between Uruppu and Etorofu Island. In addition, Japan made the signing of a peace treaty depending from territorial question. According to Moscow, following the results of World War II, Russia inherited possession of the islands from the former Soviet Union, as its successor state, in accordance with international law. And its sovereignty is non-disputed.
Public-opinion poll among the population of Japan shows that only few respondents support the government’s approach to negotiations with Russia. At the same time, most Japanese people expressed their dissatisfaction with the Tokyo position on the South Kuriles issue. It shows that it is necessary for Japan to change its policy, concerning territorial question. Moreover, the former inhabitants of the Kuril Islands, which had big political influence, are being replaced by pragmatic younger generation. And for them the most important question is economy. Russia offers Japan participation in joint program on development of the Kurile Islands. However, in case of refusal, Moscow will invite investors from other countries (the USA, China, Singapore, Malaysia, etc.). Delegation of parliamentarians from the South Korea has also visited the Kuriles. It caused protests from Japan side. Tokyo believes that actions like that may give legality to Russian sovereignty over the islands, which Japan laid claim to. However, young Japanese are afraid of being late to participate in the Russian programs.
Russia is ready for dialog with Tokyo on this problem, in case Japan will recognize the results of World War II. However, according to Russian Foreign Minister S. Lavrov, “when radical approaches are followed by the government, talking on this issue is senseless.”
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Russian jet-fighters are very often flying so close to Japanese airspace, perhaps its their aviation tradition.
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The South Kuril Islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan and Habomai are an integral part of Russian territory. Russia received them after World War II in accordance with the agreements of Allies. The international legal instruments, adopted in 1945, form the legal basis of this right. Among them: the Yalta agreement and the Potsdam declaration. Consequently, Russian sovereignty over these islands cannot be questioned. That is why russian jet-fighters were in its own airspace
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In recent years, Tokyo decided to promote the strategic partnership with Russia, including a joint economic activity in the Kuril Islands. Thus, the former head of the Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said it would be possible, if the consulted parties will not be applied harm to the legal position of Japan. Until the last moment the Japanese were going to address the issue of joint investment projects only after passing under the jurisdiction of the South Kuril Islands to Japan, it is really a positive fact. Thus, a proposal for cooperation between Russia Japan and the Kuril Islands is a compromise.
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