Russian lawmaker wants to BAN transfer of islands to Japan

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
MOSCOW, January 10. /TASS/. Deputy of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) Sergei Ivanov submitted a bill to the national parliament on Japan’s territorial claims to Russia, which bans the transfer of the Kuril Islands, according to information posted in the State Duma’s electronic database on Thursday.

"The Kuril Islands belong to the Russian Federation following the results of World War Two and pursuant to the Cairo Declaration of December 1, 1943, the Potsdam Declaration of July 26, 1945 and the peace treaty with Japan signed in San Francisco on September 8, 1951. The legal acts containing the provisions on giving up the territory of the Kuril Islands are not subject to their ratification, publishing, enforcement and application," the bill says.

The bill’s author indicates in the accompanying documents that the initiative was submitted to the Russian parliament after the Japanese legislature adopted amendments to the law on special measures to speed up the solution of the problem of the northern territories, which stipulates that the four islands belong to Japan and sets the task of taking utmost efforts to return them.

"In the Instrument of Surrender of September 2, 1945, Japan unconditionally recognized the Potsdam Declaration and the Cairo Declaration mentioned in it. In compliance with article 2 of the San Francisco Treaty of Peace of 1951, Japan gives up all the rights, legal grounds and claims to the Kuril Islands and the part of the Sakhalin Island and the adjacent islands, the sovereignty over which Japan acquired under the Portsmouth Treaty of September 5, 1905. Pursuant to the above-mentioned, the legal acts in the Russian Federation on repudiating the Kuril Islands are not subject to publishing and have no legal force," the LDPR deputy says.

Since the mid-20th century, Russia and Japan have been holding consultations in order to clinch a peace treaty as a follow-up to World War II. The Kuril Islands issue remains the sticking point since after WWII the islands were handed over to the Soviet Union while Japan has laid claims to the four southern islands. In 1956, the two countries signed a common declaration on ending the state of war and restoring diplomatic and all other relations, however, a peace treaty has still not been reached. Moscow has stated many times that Russia’s sovereignty over the islands could not be questioned.
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Sergei Ivanov

He is a hard-line nationalist, like most of his party, led by the whack job Zhirinovsky. Pretty extreme in own right too, back in September, for example, got into it with a bunch of people, fellow members, from ruling United Russia, and yelled, there, on the Duma floor, that he wished he had an AK in his hand at that time, "I would clear all you bastards up very quickly" lol

Anyway, Kurils

Beautiful little islands

There are lots of old Japanese buildings left there

Including WWII and older military fortifications and bunkers and such, which spelunkers and archaeologists and other such enthusiasts come eagerly to explore

Around 20,000 Russians now live there, mainly on the biggest island, Kunashir, in the regional capital, Severo-Kurilsk, on Paramushir island

A Kurilean fisherman shows off a giant 1.2 ton moonfish he caught, in front of a processing plant (which, btw, is very patriotic and says "Kurils are Russian land", at right there, I seen pics of it before lol)

Fishing is the number one industry there

Hell, pretty much the ONLY industry, aside from tourism...

Tourism there is plenty; some of the islands have great spots for skiing

There are also unique rock formations
and great forests, beloved by hikers

Pretty good surfing too, apparently


It's a hard life for the residents though. Their only link to the mainland are ageing ferries like this one

If there is a hard storm, they are cut off, the ferries cannot bring them any supplies from the mainland. They are a hard lot though, survivors, always been very independent minded...

Also, last year, Russia finally opened a small airport on Iturup island

So, now they have THAT connection too, at least...

Japanese people are also now permitted to visit and tend to the graves of their ancestors and such

Japanese look at one of the Kuril islands off a viewing platform on Hokkaido; they are close enough to see from there, the Southernmost islands, anyway

The islands are equally emotional for Russians too; among other things, there are still corpses of Red Army troops buried there, those who were killed in the operation to take the islands back in '45; most, at the time, were given quick anonymous funerals right there, on the islands; volunteer war archaeologist units (which search for remains of WWII troops all over the country, mainly in biggest theaters around Kursk, Stalingrad/now Volgograd; etc; but yeah, Kurils too) still find skeletons out there

In recent times, Russia militarized the Kurils, deploying troops, fighter jets, and missiles

This was in answer to public calls, demanding a strong deterrence to any supposed Japanese/American adventurism over there...

It is as heated an issue, again, in Russia, as in Japan. "Kurils are our land", no giving away a single peace of the Motherland, period, this is one of issues that the WHOLE nation is united on, from Communists in Siberia to Chechens in Grozny

Putin WANTS to resolve this thing as much as Abe does. I believe that. But, public opinion is NOT on the side of compromise. He knows that...

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
lol Some Ukrainian and Russian media speculating now that Putin could indeed hand some of the Kurils back to Japan; in return for Japan recognizing Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and lifting it's related sanctions: В обмен на Крым: озвучен неожиданный прогноз по передаче Курил Японии

Who the hell knows anymore... Tying it to Crimea that way would certainly help sell it to the Russian public at home, for sure, if they can make it happen...

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (right) and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono enter a hall for their talks in Moscow on January 14.

Moscow has warned Tokyo not to expect progress toward an agreement over the disputed Kurile Islands unless Japan first recognizes Russian sovereignty over the Pacific island chain claimed by both countries since World War II.

Meeting with his Japanese counterpart in Moscow on January 14, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the countries still had "substantial disagreements" despite some progress in bringing their positions closer.

The Soviet Union seized the four islands north of Hokkaido at the end of the war, and the dispute has prevented the countries form signing a peace treaty to formally end the hostilities. Japan calls the islands the Northern Territories.

Lavrov's talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Tara Kono came ahead of a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Foreign Minister Shinzo Abe, which the Kremlin said will be held on January 22 in Moscow.

Putin and Abe agreed in November to accelerate negotiations based on a 1956 Soviet proposal to return the two less populated islands, Shikotan and a group of islets called Habomai.

But Lavrov set a tough tone in remarks both before and after the meeting with Kono, criticizing recent statements by Japanese officials and saying that Tokyo must not try to force an agreement.

"Today we confirmed our readiness to work on the basis of the 1956 declaration, which means above all the immutability -- as the very first step -- of recognition by our Japanese neighbors of the outcome of the Second World War," Lavrov said.

That includes "the sovereignty of the Russian Federation over all the islands of the Southern Kuriles," Lavrov said. "This is our fundamental position, and without a step in this direction it is very hard to count on any movement forward on other issues."

"Russia's sovereignty over the islands is not subject to discussion. They are part of the territory of the Russian Federation," Lavrov told reporters. He said the UN Charter supports Moscow's ownership of the islands.

Recognition of the outcome of the war, and of Russian sovereignty over the islands, could potentially rule out any further dispute or claims by Tokyo on the two larger and more populated islands, Iturup and Kunashir.

Abe, who has been prime minister since 2012 and also held the post earlier, has met repeatedly with Putin and voiced hope of ending the dispute while gaining control over at least some of the four islands.

Moscow has often suggested that increased Japanese investment and trade would help create favorable conditions for a deal, but Lavrov said business cooperation on the islands was being implemented "on a very modest, unimpressive scale."

Speaking at the start of the talks, Kono seemed to try to turn the tables on Russia on that score, saying that the two countries need to solve the territorial problem to set the stage for expanding economic and other ties.

Following upbeat statements by Japanese officials in recent weeks, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the Japanese ambassador on January 9 to warn Tokyo not to "artificially incite the atmosphere regarding the peace treaty problem and [not to] try to enforce its own scenario of settling the issue."

Lavrov was similarly stern as he sat down for the talks with Kono, saying that "once again, I would like to ask our Japanese colleagues to strictly follow agreements by our leaders, both regarding the format of talks and, naturally, the substance of work on a peace treaty."

After the talks, Lavrov dismissed as "unacceptable" what he said was a recent statement by Abe that "Russian citizens will be able to remain on the islands after [they] come under Japanese sovereignty."

Lavrov also said that a statement by an aide to Abe suggesting that resolving the dispute would help Japan and the United States deter China was "outrageous," and claimed it raised questions about the independence of Japanese foreign policy.

"We wondered whether Japan could be independent given such reliance on the U.S., and we were told that Japan would act proceeding from its national interests," Lavrov said. "We would like to hope it will indeed be so."

He also said that Russia is concerned about the U.S. military presence in the region, including the deployment of U.S. missile-defense components which he said create security risks for Russia and China.
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