The Ministry of foreign Affairs of Japan announced the possibility of negotiations for the return of two of the four Kuril Islands in the framework of the territorial issue with Russia. From the point of view of Japan is a compromise earlier, Prime Minister Abe repeatedly saidthat Japan needs all four South Kuril Islands. The President of Russia Putin saidthat we are “not selling anything”.

About the change in Japan’s position in an interview with Nippon TV said senior Vice-Minister for foreign Affairs of Japan, the younger brother of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Nobuo Kishi. According to him, we can discuss the plan to “return two Islands – Habomai and Shikotan” in the framework of negotiations on the territorial issue with Russia. “We would like as soon as possible to find a solution (on the territorial issue with Russia) on the basis of a wide range of possibilities” – quoted by Kishi , RIA “Novosti”.

The official also said that Tokyo does not preclude recognition of the right to accommodation about 17 thousand people, constituting currently the population of the disputed Kuril Islands. Previously this scenario in Japan rejected. The Vice-Minister stressed that “the talks, which would (Japan) insisted on 100% enforcement of its requirements, will not succeed”.

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.

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. In early October, Japanese media reported that the country hopes to cooperate with Russia in the field of medicine to improve the relationship. Japan, according to the world health organization, is a world leader in life expectancy.

The RIA notes that the statement of Kishi at odds with the official position of the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He consistently denies appearing in the media speculation that Japan was ready to compromise, agreeing to the transfer of the two Islands.

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.

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. It is expected that during this visit will move forward the negotiations on the Kuril Islands and conclude a peace agreement.

Ahead of the meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister in an interview with Bloomberg Putin has declared its intention to find a solution to the Kuril Islands. However, he once again stressed that “we do not sell territories.”



The Ministry of foreign Affairs of Japan announced the possibility of negotiations for the return of two of the Kuril Islands 09.10.2016

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