Time to rethink the Russian-Japanese negotiations on the Kuril Islands

Время переосмыслить российско-японские переговоры по Курилам

Held 7 February in the South Kuril Islands, the so-called day of Northern territories of the exercises the Russian special forces with installation on the South belonging to the Russian island of Kunashir large flag of the Russian Federation discouraged the Japanese authorities. If shortly before the Japanese foreign Ministry expressed disagreement and disappointment about the decision of the Russian government to use the airfield on the island of Etorofu not only civil but also military aircraft, has now been declared an official protest, which expressed disagreement Tokyo with exercise allegedly owned by Japan’s territory.

It seems that the Japanese capital has already grown accustomed to the careful relaxing of Moscow’s position concerning Japan’s territorial claims. And then suddenly this.

The eternal opponents of the Sino-Russian good-neighbourliness Japanese-wing forces began to demand a harsh response. The mouthpiece of these forces newspaper “Sankei Shimbun” urged the Japanese to “re-remember that Russia illegally seized the four Islands, which are originally a Japanese territory”. “This day should be used as a chance to demand the return” — called the Japanese newspaper. And this despite the fact that Russia (then Soviet Union) returned to the part of the country belonged to the Russian Empire from the end of XVIII century the territory in full compliance with international agreements and documents signed by the Japanese government.

“Sankei Shimbun” is angry:

“Russia began military exercises in the Northern territory, as if intentionally planning their conduct this day. It is impossible to ignore the treacherous (?! — A. K.) the behavior of Russia, which seemed mocking the pleas of the Japanese people. Moreover, the Russian government issued a decree on the joint use of the airport on Iturup civil airlines and the army. Experts believe that it is preparing to deploy on the island a full-fledged Department of the air force. On Kunashir and Iturup has been posted the latest cruise missiles. The militarization of the Islands only strengthens the illegal seizure of the Northern territories, which is unacceptable”.

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Ready and recipe further diplomatic behavior of the Japanese government:

“It is unacceptable that Moscow was looking down on Japanese diplomacy. If necessary, from Tokyo requires a tough stance until the end of the current negotiations.

Japan should strive to return the four Northern Islands. If this issue will be ignored, and the focus will be only economic cooperation, it will jeopardize the interests of Japan. Naturally, the selfish actions of Russia cause distrust among the Japanese. The annexation of the Crimea and the Northern territories is the root of the problem. It is impossible in any case to forget that Russia is a country that changes the status quo by means of military force.”

Responded to conducted in the Kuril Islands exercises and the liberal newspaper “Mainichi Shimbun”, which is not without reason to believe:

“Today, Asia is a strengthening of the American military presence through the deployment of the U.S. missile defense system amid the North Korean nuclear and missile threats. Alarmed by Russia decides to allow the military to use civilian airfield on the island of Iturup, has been strengthening military capabilities on the other Kuril Islands, including the Northern territory. Overall military-strategic importance of the Kuril Islands for Russia will only grow.” The publication concludes that “the previous approach to the solution of issues of bilateral relations should be seriously rethought”.

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In the opinion of the author of these lines, to a certain extent it would be worthwhile to rethink and policy of Russia in respect of those aspects of Japanese diplomacy, which are clearly aimed at the violation of Russian sovereignty over the Kuril Islands, to bring the policy into full compliance with the Constitution, guaranteeing the inviolability of the territorial integrity of our country.

In connection with the ongoing Russia campaign I would like to know the opinion of all the candidates for the highest office on this milestone, as the fate of the Kuril Islands and people, they are living. A good opportunity to open the upcoming televised debates of the candidates. I think the voters, especially the far East, it would be interesting to know the opinion on this question and the main candidate — the incumbent President and commander in chief of the armed forces of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. In particular, many would like to understand what hidden from the public the meaning of “slip” of the Japanese in the southern Kuril Islands under the guise of “joint economic activities”.

Good initiative appeared in the State Duma. Proposed to be held in the highest legislative body of the country, a round table or hearing on the issue of the Kuril Islands, in addition to deputies and the learned japanologist, legal experts and interested professionals from other industries, especially fisheries.

Note that the previous Duma hearings on the issue had great resonance in our country and in Japan, had a corresponding effect on political and diplomatic negotiations between the leaders of the two countries, was received positively by the Russian public.

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