The government of Japan is considering to sign a peace Treaty with Russia during the December visit of Vladimir Putin without compulsory transfer of the disputed “Northern territories” – four southern Kuril Islands that the Soviet Union after the defeat of Japan in world war II. It is reported by Japanese Agency Kyodo , citing government sources. This is not the first time the Japanese media write about the possibility of compromise, although the official position of the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is that Japan is going to demand the return of all four Islands.
According to Kyodo, the government is now Abe, “reviewing the negotiating strategy” in the hope to make progress on the conclusion of a peace Treaty.” The new strategy, according to the Agency, is to sign a peace Treaty, recognizing the right of the Russian Federation on the two Islands – Shikotan and Habomai, as envisaged in the Soviet-Japanese Declaration of 1956. The territory of Habomai and Shikotan is 7% of the area of all the four southern Kuril Islands that the Soviet Union after the defeat of Japan in world war II.
Informed of a possible “separation” problems of the Kuril Islands for the purpose of returning the two Islands said the senior Vice-Minister for foreign Affairs of Japan, the younger brother of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Nobuo Kishi. In addition, the Japanese media reported that the country hopes to cooperate with Russia in the field of medicine to improve the relationship.
Proposals are being prepared for the upcoming in mid-December visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan, where he will meet with Prime Minister Abe.
The Kuril Islands and the peace agreement
Owned by Japan, the Kuril Islands were incorporated into the Soviet Union after the end of world war II and victory over Japan. Since then, Tokyo disputes ownership of the southern Islands of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and group of Islands Habomai. In 1956, signed a joint Declaration ending the state of war between the USSR and Japan, but a peace Treaty was never signed. In the Declaration it says that the USSR agrees to convey to the Japanese side Shikotan and Habomai ridge, but only after the conclusion of a peace Treaty between the two countries, which is still there.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a “new approach” to the problem of the Kuril Islands during the talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi in may 2016. He also proposed a comprehensive program of cooperation with Moscow.
In early September, Putin and Abe met on the East economic forum – where the Japanese delegation was the most numerous among the foreign ones. The leaders agreed that the Russian President will arrive in Japan on 15 December 2016.