Comment by the Information and Press Department on amendments to Japan’s law on special measures to advance a solution to the Northern Territories issue

Thursday, 19 July 2018 15:23
Category: Press Release (Newsletter)
Written by Vladimir I Poluektov
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As officially reported, the other day the Japanese Parliament adopted a number of amendments to the 1982 law on special measures to advance a solution to the Northern Territories issue.

It remains completely unclear why Japanese lawmakers had to unearth and update a legal act adopted in an era of bilateral relations which was far from friendly or cooperative, now that the ties between our countries are dynamically expanding in the wake of the decisions of the leaders of Russia and Japan. In addition, these amendments are directly at odds with high-level agreements on establishing joint economic activities on the southern Kuril Islands, including in the interest of creating an atmosphere of trust and cooperation between our two states.

In the approved draft law, joint economic activities are directly linked to far-fetched assumptions about southern Kuril Islands being “originally Japanese” and de facto equated with measures “for the speedy return of the Northern Territories.” We see this as nothing less than an attempt to prejudge the outcome of the corresponding negotiations and to impose unacceptable solutions to the peace treaty issue. We would like to remind again that the southern Kuril Islands belong to the Russian Federation legally as of the end of WWII, and Russian sovereignty over them is indisputable.  

Unfortunately, this move by Japanese parliamentarians creates major obstacles on the way to further talks on joint economic activities.