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Feb 17, 2021
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Why does Japan, which lost the war, present ultimatums to the victorious country?

The Russian Foreign Ministry rejected Japan’s diplomatic protest over the planned and previously announced military exercises in the Kuril Islands. The Japanese Foreign Ministry refers to the self-made “sovereignty of Japan” proclaimed by the country’s parliament in 2009 in all the southern Kuril Islands. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a note to Japan in which it indicated that protests against the Russian side’s activities in the southern Kuril Islands were meaningless. “In connection with the constant attempts of the Japanese side to arrange demarches about our activities in the southern Kuriles, a note was previously sent to it that such” protests “are meaningless and will remain without reaction,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. It was clarified that Russia has carried out and will continue to carry out all the necessary measures on its territory. In Tokyo, the statements of the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia Dmitry Medvedev that after the adoption of the amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, Moscow has no right to alienate the Kuril Islands did not go unnoticed. According to Medvedev, there is no subject for negotiations on this topic: “There are certain guidelines, in any case, rigid ones, which our Japanese colleagues adhere to … We already have decisions on these rigid guidelines related to amending the Constitution: we do not have the right to negotiate on the transfer of sovereignty to Russian territories, “Medvedev stressed. The Russian ambassador to Japan Mikhail Galuzin also explained to the Japanese the situation after the adoption of the amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation at the referendum and approval by the President of the Russian Federation. In an interview with the Russia 24 TV channel, the diplomat said, answering a question about Japan’s territorial claims to the southern Kuril Islands: “The new edition of the Russian Constitution, of course, does not allow any decisions on the topic of sovereignty over the islands.” However, for the Japanese political class, the statement about the fate of the Russian Kuril Islands, made the other day by Russian President Vladimir Putin, is much more important. They do not leave the Japanese side with illusions about the alienation of these lands in favor of Japan: “We want to develop relations with Japan and will develop them. But we will not do anything that contradicts the Basic Law of the Russian Federation.” A Moscow correspondent for the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun explains that in July 2020, amendments were made to the Russian Constitution prohibiting the alienation of Russian territories. And he expresses the opinion that thereby, “perhaps, the transfer of northern territories to Japan is rejected.” It also gives Putin’s advice to the journalist who asked the question to ask about further relations with Japan in the context of the sovereignty of the southern Kuril Islands, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “You ask Lavrov this question. He will explain to you where there is delimitation, where is demarcation,” Putin said. Revealing the meaning of what was said, the correspondent of the Japanese newspaper reminds that both Putin and Lavrov declare that “the northern territories became the territory of Russia as a result of the Second World War” and “toughened their position on the actual absence of a territorial problem between the two countries.” It is well known that S. Lavrov said that the Russian government “did not and does not conduct negotiations on territories with Japan.” This is what, in the first place, does not suit Tokyo, where, by impermissibly ignoring the will of the Russian people expressed in the voting for the amendments, they now literally demand that Moscow “continue negotiations on the return of the northern territories.” This does not mean the “Khrushchev compromise”, which allowed the transfer of Japan in the form of a gesture of goodwill after the signing of the peace treaty of the Lesser Kuril ridge – the islands of Shikotan and Habomai, as we sometimes claim. Tokyo is actually putting forward an ultimatum to Moscow to surrender all the southern Kuril islands with the straits of great military-strategic importance and the richest 200-mile economic zones. The headline of the editorial of the Hokkaido Shimbun newspaper cannot be called anything other than an ultimatum: “Putin’s statement. Do not allow Russia to refuse to return the islands!” Such treatment of a defeated country with a victorious country does not fit into any framework of bilateral relations. That is, Moscow is required to continue anti-constitutional negotiations on the surrender of Russian territories! Putin’s statements, the newspaper notes, “suggest the obvious idea that Russia is not going to transfer its sovereignty over the northern territories to anyone … Although Russia has previously shown a certain readiness to discuss the territorial problem, but apparently this is was done solely out of the expectation of pulling (?! – A.K.) from Japan more active approaches to economic cooperation. If such are the true intentions of Moscow, then we resolutely cannot recognize them, “the authors of the article are indignant. The Hokkakido Shimbun claims that Tokyo underestimated the significance of the amendments made to the RF Constitution: “The Japanese government, believing that the article banning the alienation of Russian territories still has limited influence, actually perceived the new Constitution rather indifferently. However, this time in statements Putin made another statement: “If you ask Foreign Minister Lavrov, he will probably answer you where the Russian-Japanese border passes.” It follows from this that the Russian side already has a very definite idea of ​​this border. ” How could it be otherwise? Yes, gentlemen, editors of the esteemed Hokkaido Shimbun, Russia has “a very definite idea of ​​this border” established in accordance with international agreements following the Second World War, which you stubbornly refuse to recognize in violation of the UN Charter. And this is not only the position of the government of the Russian Federation, but the unanimous opinion of the Russian people, which does not allow revanchist inclinations of the countries participating in the Hitlerite coalition. While reproaching its government for “building too bright prospects in relations with Russia,” the newspaper switches to the language of almost threats: “If the Russian side is not going to discuss with Japan the issue of transferring sovereignty over the northern islands to it, then we probably need to fundamentally reconsider their approaches to the Japanese-Russian negotiations. Prime Minister Suga first of all needs to be clear about what Putin’s true intentions are. ” A strange statement. After all, Putin said that he wanted to develop relations with Japan, but in compliance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation, on which he swore an oath. What else does Hokkaido Shimbun advise its premier to understand? In conclusion, the newspaper revives a somewhat forgotten hostile rhetoric, convincing readers that allegedly “the illegal seizure of the four northern islands was carried out by the Soviet Union, and Russia, as its legal successor, is obliged to return them to Japan.” “This circumstance should never be forgotten!” – the authors of the article exclaim with pathos. The newspaper incites Japanese hostility to the neighboring country and its people. However, we also do not forget who lost in World War II and who won it. Photo: Twitter

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