Oct 4, 2021
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The new Japanese prime minister wants to tear away from Russia not two, but all four islands

Fumio Kishida: “What will we have left if the territorial problem is subtracted from the peace treaty?”

A new, 100th prime minister has appeared in the Land of the Rising Sun. He was appointed Foreign Minister for more than four and a half years in Shinzo Abe’s cabinet, as well as Fumio Kishida, a key political council in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP).

The composition of the new cabinet has been announced. Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi have retained their posts there. Hirokazu Matsuno became the new General Secretary of the Cabinet of Ministers.

So far, the Japanese media are speculating about the future policy of the new cabinet. Including in the Russian direction. The newspaper Hokkaido Shimbun, a northern Japanese island bordering the Russian Kuriles, pays special attention to this issue. Takashi Norisada and Tetsuya Tamamura, in an article published by the newspaper, “Dissatisfied with the results of negotiations between the previous prime ministers with Russia, Fumio Kishida returns to the formula” take not two, but all four islands ” “Diplomacy of reconciliation” with Russia. And also with the adoption of political decisions regarding Moscow, not in the Japanese Foreign Ministry, but in the prime minister’s administration. According to the authors of the article, Kishida has repeatedly shown disagreement with the too compliant line of the Abe cabinet, speaking out in the sense that, they say, “There are quite a lot of people out of touch with reality around the prime minister who are ready for too soft approaches to Moscow”

Norisada and Tamamura write: “During the debates in the election of the party chairman, assessing Abe’s diplomacy in Russia, Kishida expressed his intention to strive for the” return of all four northern islands to Japan “and thus actually moved away from Abe’s line of returning after the signing of a peace treaty of only two islands – Habomai and Shikotan”

Note that, firstly, the Russian Ploskie islands, called Habomai in Japan, are not one island, but a group of about twenty small islands, shoals and sea stones. It is essential, however, that a 200-mile exclusive economic zone is counted from each of these properties. In this case, the Russian zone is quite resource-rich. Secondly, one cannot agree with the statements of some Japanese, and behind them Russian, observers who claim that at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in November 2018 in Singapore, Prime Minister Abe allegedly showed his readiness to sign a peace treaty with Russia according to the “Khrushchev formula “. Namely, subject to the transfer of the islands of Habomai and Shikotan to Japan after the conclusion of such an agreement. In reality, Abe only agreed to “take as a basis” the Soviet-Japanese joint declaration of 1956, in which, at the insistence of Khrushchev, the USSR’s consent to transfer the said islands to Japan after signing a peace treaty was written. Khrushchev meant that on this the issue of the post-war territorial delimitation of the two countries would be finally resolved. The Japanese side, under pressure from the United States, considered the compromise reached not final, but intermediate, intending to seek from the USSR the “return” of all the southern Kuril islands, which constitute about half of the Great Kuril Ridge stretching to Kamchatka.

This was also the position of Abe, who intended to use the crafty “two plus alpha” formula, which was born in the bowels of the Kozyrev Foreign Ministry of the Yeltsin era. According to this “formula”, Japan immediately received “two islands”, but subject to the continuation of negotiations on the “return” of the largest, inhabited islands of Kunashir and Iturup. By the way, let us recall that if V. Putin initially agreed to consider the “Khrushchev compromise” on the transfer of Habomai and Shikotan, he never even made a hint to the Japanese about Kunashir and Iturup.

Today, the authors of the article in the “Hokkaido Shimbun” note, Kishida does not even remember the “Singapore agreements”. Reporting on his press conference after his election as chairman of the LDP, they write: “Mr. Kishida avoided a specific positive mention of the so-called” Singapore agreement “between Abe and Putin that, on the basis of the Joint Soviet-Japanese Declaration of 1956, Russia, after the conclusion of a peace treaty, will hand over to Japan two islands – Habomai and Shikotan”… And then the position of the new prime minister is fixed in this way: “Now Mr. Kishida has stated that he“ will continue to reject (?! – A.K.) from Russia of all four islands “… It should be noted that Fumio Kishida did not answer the question of the Hokkaido Shimbun newspaper in a written interview with him about whether the mentioned Joint Declaration should remain the basis for territorial negotiations with Japan and Russia today. ” In this regard, it would not be wrong to believe that Kishida, declaring all possible cooperation with the United States in foreign policy and security issues, will continue Washington’s line of maintaining the confrontation between Tokyo and Moscow on the far-fetched “territorial problem” that is beneficial to him.

The authors of the article also mention the “American factor” in Japanese policy towards Russia: “Experts and politicians said in whispers that Mr. Kishida was very concerned that, having taken a position of excessive reconciliation with Russia, he would not meet a negative reaction from the United States as a candidate for the post of future prime minister.”… And these fears of a negative reaction from the Biden administration to the conciliatory gestures of their vassal towards Moscow, apparently, will persist for the entire period of Kishida’s stay in power.

And further. We have repeatedly pointed out that the Japanese government sees the only goal in the peace treaty with Russia – to force the Russian leadership to sacrifice Russian lands – the southern Kuril Islands for the sake of this document, which has long become an anachronism. I would like to believe that Moscow also understands this. This is clearly stated by the Tokyo politicians, and now the prime minister himself. Here is the testimony of the Hokkaido Shimbun: “Fumio Kishida, during his tenure as foreign minister, argued with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who insisted that Russia was not negotiating with Japan on the territorial issue. Then Kishida asked the following question: “What will we have left if the territorial problem is subtracted from the peace treaty?” Regarding diplomacy on Russia in his environment, he also said: “Even if economic cooperation develops between our countries, we will not be able to convince the Japanese of the correctness of the line, devoid of advancement in the territorial issue.”… I do not think that by becoming prime minister, Kishida will change this position.

As far as the author of these lines knows, the new Japanese leader, although he could not at all object to the stillborn idea of ​​dragging the Japanese to the Kuril Islands on the condition of granting them a regime of extraterritoriality in these Russian lands during Prime Minister Abe, from the very beginning reacted to it passively. This is also noted by the authors of the article in the Hokkaido Shimbun: “In his interviews, Fumio Kishida expressed his intention to resolve the territorial dispute with Russia through joint economic activities on the four islands, in the development of plans for which he participated during his tenure as foreign minister. However, after the start of work on these plans, the business did not progress for five years. Therefore, doubts remain regarding the seriousness of the future Prime Minister of Japan in this direction. “

We also have big doubts that Moscow will infringe on Russia’s sovereignty in the Kuril Islands and give the Japanese the right not to comply with Russian legislation here.

The following are translated Inosmi Responses from Japanese readers to the Hokkaido Shimbun article:


We must honestly face the truth: historically, different peoples lived in the Kuriles, Sakhalin and Kamchatka, but not the Japanese. The northern territories became Japanese as a result of complex political processes. As a result of the same processes (World War II), they ceased to be Japanese!


Now we can only observe what Russia is doing with the northern islands. Now, if in the distant future Putin’s power is ever weakened, then we too, probably, may have a chance. But this is still a long way off!


The fact that Putin-san does not return the islands to us is quite natural. Neither 2 islands nor 4 islands.

And all because American military bases will most likely immediately appear on them. Our politicians need to show more political wisdom and competence in the issue of returning the islands, as, by the way, in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic!


Russia is not going to return the islands to us in the least. She deceives us and pulls out economic gimmicks. And our politicians have sunk to the point that they believe the Russians. There is no point in negotiating with Russia.


There is no need to indulge yourself with illusions about two, let alone four islands. For Russia, the Kuriles are a powerful defensive fortification in the Pacific Ocean direction and at the same time an excellent outlet to the Pacific Ocean!


Now it is almost impossible to wage a territorial dispute with Putin, which has become strongly entrenched in the international arena amid the global energy crisis!

When he met with Abe in Japan in 2016, then energy prices were low, and there was still something to be said with Putin. Now there is no!


Now in Japanese politicians there are no people who are able to speak on an equal footing with Russians! Their salaries are among the highest in the world, and all are comprador-minded. What can they do? To destroy the heritage of our country one by one, starting, for example, with the auto giant Nissan?


Someone said well: “The lands lost in the war can only be returned by war!” There can be no negotiations on territorial issues. This is nonsense!


There is only one way out – to wait for the economic collapse of Russia and buy the islands from it for money. There is no other way!


The islands will not return to us. Better to just choke Russia with economic sanctions!


Not true! All the Kuriles and Sakhalin are ours! We need to remove the northern islands from the Russians!


What are the 2 islands ?! Dreaming. Yes, not a single pebble will return to us!


Now it is clear why we switched to 4 islands! We realized that we didn’t get anything at all, so at least squeak loudly!

Photo: Rossiyskaya Gazeta

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