Russian Federation dismayed by PM Kishida of Japan: Kuril Islands

Russian Federation dismayed by PM Kishida of Japan: Kuril Islands

Chika Mori and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida recently became the leader of Japan after Yoshihide Suga voluntarily stepped down. Hence, an internal Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) transition before the general election later this month.

However, even before the general election – that is likely to witness the LDP being the main party – Kishida is already upsetting the Russian Federation. According to political elites in Moscow, the territorial issue was finalized many decades ago. Therefore, only the goodwill of the Russian Federation can change any territorial angles and not outside political pressure.

Vladimir Dzhabarov, First Deputy Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, said, “I think that it is not good that the Japanese prime minister made this statement, since, from my point of view, it complicates his further negotiations with our leadership. It is clear that Moscow won’t ignore this kind of statement.”

Dmitry Medvedev, the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia, strongly rebuked Japan two years ago concerning the visit of politicians to the Kuril Islands (Sakhalin Oblast). He uttered, It is our land, it is an entity of the Russian Federation. These islands are part of the Sakhalin Region. Why should we be concerned about it?”

Nikolai Patrushev, the Russian Security Council Secretary, recently lambasted Japan. He said, certain Japanese politicians “blindly follow US instructions and willingly engage in anti-Chinese and anti-Russian schemes.”

Patrushev continued, these Japanese politicians “seek to dig into the past in an attempt to settle old scores with Russia.”

Modern Tokyo Times, in a past article, said, “In truth, President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation is more open to addressing certain concerns of Japan. Yet, these concerns, according to Putin, can only be addressed providing Japan provides guarantees that the armed forces of America will not deploy its military in swathes of Northern Japan. Also, for Putin, it is imperative that Japan is sincere towards the Russian Federation. Equally important for Putin, Japan’s foreign policy must become disentangled from America’s containment policies aimed at China and the Russian Federation respectively. In saying this, Putin isn’t interested in handing over the main areas of the Kuril Islands – instead, more outlying areas of lesser significance providing Japan follows the above demands and other areas of dispute.”

Japan calls the Kuril Islands the Northern Territories. However, since Japan and Germany were deemed the aggressors in World War Two – and for Japan, this aggression started before World War Two against China and others – it is conveniently forgotten by Japan that if they had won the war, then they would have obtained vast parts of territory throughout Asia. Therefore, after losing the war, events changed on the ground concerning the legacy of what had happened prior.

Dzhabarov said, “For us, this dispute was closed back in 1945. We have repeatedly told them that we are ready to conclude a peace treaty without any discussion of territorial claims.”

Henceforth, even before Kishida is elected by the general public (LDP is likely to be re-elected despite discontent in Japan), it appears that little will be achieved unless a policy rethink is implemented.

Ironically, the same Japan that is obsessed with sovereignty over the Kuril Islands (Northern Territories), is the same nation that tolerates American bases throughout the land – notably in Okinawa (Ryukyu).


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