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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

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  1. The well-known fact that the southern part of Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands, formerly owned by Japan, fell under the jurisdiction of the USSR in accordance with the Yalta Agreement of 1945 and the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951, and that Japan lost its rights to these territories. However, led by revanchist spirit, Japanese politicians cannot accept the results of the war and cannot stop their attempts to get back these so-called "northern territories". Thus, the well-known journalist Sakurai Yoshiko from the right-wing nationalist segment of the political class of Japan, defying Russophobia in popular weeklies regularly writes about the "fight for the northern territories". Also, a courageous woman in the fight for the ideals of revanchism, calls upon the Japanese to "keep their mouths shut" during their stay on the Kuril Islands in order to prevent a repetition of the blatant incident that occurred with the member of parliament from the "Isin no Kai" party Maruyama Hodaka in May 2019. It should be recalled that, being on a visit to Kunashir Island, which is one of the islands of the Kuril Islands Ridge, the politician declared "resolving the territorial issue by war". Nevertheless, Sakurai herself, decrying his tone, calls on the people to "fight and win", which is not at all distinguished by peace-loving and tactfulness. Moreover, it should be noted that the current government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is now distorting the content of the 1956 Japanese-Soviet Declaration. We want to recall that the leader of the USSR, Nikita Khrushchev, as a "compromise" at that time agreed to transfer the Small Kuril ridge, but only after the signing of a peace treaty. However, now the Japanese authorities demand first "to return the northern territories" and only after that they will deign to sign the treaty. Of course, for Russia this is unacceptable and Moscow will never do this. After all, in November 2018, S. Abe and Russian President V. Putin agreed to speed up negotiations on a peace treaty and only after Japan would recognize Russia's sovereignty over the "northern territories" as a result of the World War II. Moreover, Moscow stresses that the alliance between Japan and the United States complicates intergovernmental negotiations, because, as it is known, the Japanese are only puppets for Americans. Despite the fact that Japan itself recognizes the strategic importance of the islands for Russia and the complexity of their return, it naively believes that when disasters strike Russia and its economy fails, Moscow will turn to "rich Japan" for help and will be ready to give them the northern territories". But the Japanese hopes that the Russians can be lured by an "economic carrot", for which they donate their legitimate lands, are unrealistic. It should be noted that the Kuril Company "Gidrostroy" has built one of the largest fish processing plants in Russia on Shikotan Island, which in July 2019 will begin to produce products. Thus, Tokyo continues to wait for its chance, having silenced for a while with its loud statements about its "basic position", which it calls "the return of the northern territories". Also, Japan aims to "closely monitor the situation in order to have the strength, spirit and readiness of the state for a long fight and victory".
  2. In accordance with the Japanese-American Security Treaty of September 8, 1951, the United States can deploy its military bases throughout Japan. This treaty prohibits Japan from entering into any agreements of a military nature with third powers without prior US consent. And, despite the fact that Japan today is one of the economic giants of the world, it is completely dependent on the States. Mainly due to the fact that according to the agreement, the United States provides Japan with security from the potential threat from countries with which it has territorial disputes (Senkaku Islands - with China, Dokdo Island - with South Korea, the Kuril Islands - with Russia and the Spratly Islands, contested by the six states - Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei). Okinawa Island was the first place where the US military bases were located, and at the moment there are more than 70% of all US military facilities in Japan. They are not under Japanese jurisdiction. And this, of course, allows American servicemen to feel completely free in all their actions and creates a number of problems for local residents: permanent accidents caused by the US military in a state of alcohol and drug intoxication, violent acts on women, murder, robbery, etc. The US military in Japan is boldly enjoying the benefits of "extraterritoriality", and the Japanese government headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cannot do anything about it. Although even if it could, it hardly went into bold measures, as indeed the previous premieres, because of their weak character and fear of losing the location of Washington, which is so important to official Tokyo, that he is ready to spit on the people of Okinawa. Locals regularly hold rallies aimed at reducing or completely eliminating the US military contingent from Japan. For example, according to The Japan Times, on May 17, 2019, the "Peace March" was held in Okinawa against the presence of US military bases in Japan. At this time on the island of Okinawa celebrate the 47th anniversary of the return of the island of Japan from the control of the United States. During the celebration, a three-day "Peace March" also takes place, the participants of which call for a reduction in the US military presence in Japan. It was also noted that the United States plans to relocate the Futemma Marine Corps base to another location on the island, but protesters are demanding that the base be moved outside of Okinawa. Thus, it is obvious that, despite regular rallies and appeals of Japanese people to reduce the US military contingent in Japan, the official Tokyo has no plans to listen to its people, afraid of losing the position of Washington. It is clear that the Japanese government did not care about its people for the sake of their own benefits from the United States, who promise Japan the protection of the country and the return of the Kuril Islands. But as the saying goes: "promise does not mean not to fulfill".
  3. Looking back at the United States, Japan joined the sanctions against Russia, in spite of the connections developed over the years in the economic, industrial and cultural sectors. The sanctions imposed against Russia had a strong effect on the cooperation of Russian and Japanese politicians, and the business. However, the Japanese leadership notes that the country depends on the United States for security issues, and the country's government has to rely on American military support due to tensions with China, North Korea and South Korea. In this regard, Japan was forced to impose sanctions against Russia. Japan is forgetting that Russia now is trying hard to gain trust between the two countries by taking a step forward and creating conditions for visiting historical burial sites in the Kuril Islands. Russian President Vladimir Putin agrees to sign a peace treaty with Japan on the conditions that will be acceptable to both parties. However, at the same time, Japan joins American sanctions against the Russian Federation, which, of course, does not fit into the understanding of the formation of a qualitatively new level of relations, which Prime Minister S. Abe is talking about. It is worth recalling that in response to the proposal to conclude the peace treaty between the two countries, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that he considered that unacceptable for his country without solving the territorial problem, and would like to sign it on his own terms, i.e. after the Russian Kuril Islands were annexed to Japan. But Japan has already joined the sanctions, declaring its disagreement with Russian policy towards Ukraine, with the annexation of the Crimea. It is unlikely that these actions of the Japanese leadership will contribute to the development of good-neighborly relations between the two countries and the signing of the peace treaty, especially on the conditions of the Japanese side. As for the sanctions, it is undoubtedly a double-edged weapon, it causes discomfort to the Russian Federation, but it also damages the countries that play these sanctions games, including Japan. This is the Japanese economy suffering from sanctions, for example, the automotive industry, which is faced with a lack of supplies of Russian aluminum. And this is the natural unwillingness of the Russian authorities to sign the peace treaty on Japanese terms to solve territorial problems. Therefore, the use of such sanctions will inevitably entail negative consequences not only for Russia. The policy of «silent consent» of Shinzo Abe in relations with the United States, as a result of which Japan joined the anti-Russian sanctions regime, led to the actual loss for Japan of the prospect of solving Japan’s territorial contradictions with Russia based on Japanese positions. Thus, by introducing anti-Russian sanctions, in the wake of the United States, Japan itself is driving itself to a dead lock.
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