The international situation in the context of the pandemic escalated, “pandemic syndrome of redrawing borders” swept through Japan, Elena Panina, member of the State Duma committee on international affairs, told RIA Novosti.
Earlier, the Kyodo agency reported that Japan returned to the Blue Book of Diplomacy annual report a statement on the ownership of the “northern territories”, as Kunashir, Iturup, Shikotan and Habomai are called here, designating them as “islands to which the sovereignty of our country extends.” This wording disappeared from the report last year.
“At present, we are witnessing a widespread aggravation of the international situation, the escalation of international confrontation. It remains only to regret that Tokyo has also embraced the” pandemic syndrome of redrawing borders, “Panina said.
According to the deputy, the Japanese side regularly makes statements about its right to the southern islands of the Kuril Ridge, but this time new troubling shades appeared in the statements of Japanese diplomatic officials. Discussions about the “sovereignty of Japan” over the islands have far-reaching consequences, said Panina.
“By such statements, you can understand anything – even the right to collect taxes or even use military force in these territories,” the deputy noted.
She recalled that Moscow has repeatedly stated that the issue of sovereignty of the Russian Federation over the Kuril Islands has been finally resolved. Panina added that official Tokyo should refrain from such ambiguous expressions aimed at exacerbating bilateral relations.
In turn, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Elena Strokova, told RIA Novosti that Japan’s attempt to reiterate its claims on the Kuril Islands is “a confident position of a number of its politicians who are trying to earn points in the eyes of their people in this way, speculating in data and trying to rewrite the results of the Second World War II, according to which the southern part of the Kuril Islands is Russian territory. ”
Relations between Russia and Japan for many years have been overshadowed by the absence of a peace treaty. In 1956, the USSR and Japan signed the Joint Declaration, in which Moscow agreed to consider the possibility of transferring Japan to Habomai and Shikotan after the conclusion of a peace treaty, and the fate of Kunashir and Iturup was not affected. The USSR hoped that the Joint Declaration would put an end to the dispute, while Japan considered the document to be only part of the solution to the problem, without renouncing claims to all the islands.
Subsequent negotiations did not lead to anything, the peace treaty at the end of World War II was never signed. There is a point of view that serious opposition arose from the United States, which threatened that if Japan agrees to transfer only two of the four islands to it, this will affect the process of Okinawa’s return to Japanese sovereignty (the Agreement on the Return of Okinawa to Japan entered into force in 1972) . Moscow’s position is that the islands became part of the USSR following the Second World War, and the sovereignty of the Russian Federation is beyond doubt.
In 2018, in Singapore, following the summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, the Prime Minister said that the parties agreed to speed up the negotiation process for a peace treaty on the basis of the 1956 Joint Soviet-Japanese Declaration. This was a serious concession from Japan, since until now its official position was the demand for the return of the four islands and only after that the conclusion of a peace treaty.