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Post: Japanese PM urged to continue exchange in Kuril Islands


Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. archive photo

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida has called for the resumption of humanitarian exchange in the Kuril Islands.

TOKYO, January 25 – RIA Novosti. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said after the country’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi that the resumption of humanitarian exchanges with Russia and the possibility of visiting ancestral graves, especially by former residents of Kunashir, Iturup, Shikotan and Habomai, are possible. The main priority in relations with the Russian Federation.

“We hope that conditions will be created as soon as possible for the resumption of humanitarian exchange in the four islands of the Northern Territory (in Japan, the southern islands of Russia in the Kuril chain are called so), and especially on burial visits. The head of the government of Japan, which is the main priority in relations with the Russian Federation,” said.

Answering a question from the opposition Constitutional Democratic Party leader Kenta Izumi about the direction of the Japanese government’s relations policy with Russia, Kishida also emphasized that the official Tokyo is making efforts to restart the dialogue on fisheries.

At the same time, other foreign leaders periodically attempted to engage in dialogue with Moscow, despite ongoing hostilities in Ukraine, while the Japanese prime minister ignored and left unanswered criticism of the opposition regarding Tokyo’s inaction. As an example, he cited high-level contacts between France and the Russian Federation, as well as dialogue between the American and Russian military.

On March 21 last year, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that, in response to Tokyo’s hostile steps, Moscow refused to negotiate a peace treaty with Japan, halted visa-free travel of Japanese nationals to the South Kuril Islands, and withdrawn. Dialogue with Japan on the establishment of joint economic activities in Southern Kurilakh.

Visa-free exchange between residents of the southern Kurils of Russia and Japan began in 1992 on the basis of an intergovernmental agreement to improve mutual understanding between the peoples of the two countries and to resolve the issue of concluding a peace treaty. The trips were conducted visa-free with a national passport with a special attachment. In September 2017, a charter flight from Japan to Kuriles took place for the first time, before that visa-free delegations were delivered only by seacraft.

Japan claims the islands of Kunashir, Shikotan, Iturup, and Habomai, referring to the bilateral Treaty on Trade and Borders of 1855. Tokyo, Russian Federation and World War II. He put the return of the islands as a condition for signing a peace treaty that was never signed at the end of World War II.

In 1956, the USSR and Japan signed a joint declaration, in which Moscow agreed to consider the possibility of transferring the two islands to Japan in the event of a peace treaty. While the USSR hoped to put an end to it, Japan saw the agreement as only part of the solution, without giving up its claims on all the islands. Subsequent negotiations were in vain. Moscow’s position is that the islands became part of the USSR after World War II and the Russian Federation’s sovereignty over the islands is beyond doubt.

Source: Ria

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