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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Japanese society accustomed to the idea of compromise on the Kurils


“Japan is moving away from its longstanding position on simultaneous return of four Islands”. So the scientists-Orientalists comment coming from Tokyo leaks about new positions that may take Japan about longstanding territorial dispute. For what purpose the Japanese officials allow such assumptions?

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Tuesday reiterated the position of his first Deputy Nobuo Kishi that Japan was ready to discuss the return of only two instead of the four Islands of the South Kuril Islands.

“It’s possible, statements Nobuo Kishi the purpose of testing the public opinion, the possible negative reactions to such a compromise”

“As for the speech of Vice-Minister Kishi, in the negotiation between the parties’ positions, there is a difference, the discussion is conducted with a wide range of options, I believe that it is self-evident statement,” said Kishida at a press conference in Tokyo.

Sunday Kishi admitted to one of the Japanese TV channels that it is considering a wide range of possibilities in negotiations with Russia, including the return of two Islands – Habomai and Shikotan. He also did not rule out the possible recognition of a right to reside in the land of the rising sun about 17 thousand Russians living on these Islands. Kishi also encouraged to accept the fact that the negotiations in which Japan would insist on absolute execution of its own requirements, still will not succeed.

At the same time, speaking in Moscow, the Japanese Ambassador Touchesa Kazuki confirmed that the country is awaiting President Vladimir Putin’s official visit and called the supposed date is December 15. “The most important event this year is the visit of Vladimir Putin to Japan,” said Kazuki at the meeting with the head of the Federation Council Committee on international Affairs Konstantin Kosachev. The parties had previously warned that the main theme of the visit will be a peace Treaty.

It is noteworthy that the position of a key Japanese politicians on this issue in recent weeks obviously varies. That Japan no longer requires the return of all four Islands of the South Kuril Islands, 23 September, senior government sources said the newspaper “Yomiuri”. The newspaper wrote that the negotiations will go now only the transfer of Habomai and Shikotan, and the fate of the other two Islands – Iturup and Kunashir – Tokyo agree to discuss after the conclusion of a peace Treaty.

However, on October 3, not anonymous sources, but personally Shinzo Abe has rejected this version. At a hearing in Parliament, he again firmly stated that he believes all Southern Kuriles traditional territories of his country and comes from such a negotiating position with Russia.

“For 60 years, we have adhered to the idea of the return of the four Kuril Islands, avoiding compromise, so these issues need to be delicate,” explained University Professor Hosei (Tokyo) Nobuo Simotomai.

The Professor recalled that in may, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has proposed a “new approach” in the negotiations. “However, what this new approach means nobody exactly knows yet. Notice that Nobuo Kishi, the younger brother of Shinzo Abe. Therefore, it is possible that the Prime Minister himself also admits the possibility of returning two Islands instead of four,” – said political scientist newspaper VIEW. However, according to Simotomai, while Shinzo Abe is seeking to publicize what he’s up to, and it is not yet clear what could end the negotiations on 15 December.

The Japanese expert was echoed by the head of chair of diplomacy, MGIMO, a former Russian Ambassador to Tokyo Alexander Panov. “To speculate, including they also come from a variety of officials close to the Prime Minister of the people. But it is clear that the most profitable Abe to prevent any leaks about its own position,” – said the expert newspaper VIEW.

As pointed out by gentry, the polls do show that more than half of Japanese will accept the return of only two, not four Islands. “It’s possible, statements Nobuo Kishi the purpose of testing the public opinion, the possible negative reactions to this compromise. However, it is undeniable that Japan is moving away from its longstanding position on simultaneous return of the four Islands,” acknowledged former Ambassador.

As you know, the Joint Declaration of 1956 stipulated the transfer to Japan the Habomai and Shikotan after the conclusion of a peace Treaty, and the fate of Kunashir and Iturup are not affected. The idea of transferring first two Islands were discussed at the meeting of the leaders of Russia and Japan, Vladimir Putin and Yoshiro Mori in 2001, reported the then head of the Department of Europe and Asia the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Japan Kazuhiko Togo, prepared the meeting. About it Also told the newspaper VIEW in 2010. However, with the coming to power of Junichiro Koizumi, the idea was postponed.

The possibility of a compromise on the Kuril issue publicly admitted in early September, and Vladimir Putin – on the eve of his talks with Shinzo Abe in Vladivostok, answering the question about the fate of the Tarabarov island (which became a few years ago, the Chinese), he noted that Russia did not give these territories to China, it was a territory that was disputed and in respect of which negotiations were conducted with China for 40 years. “I want to stress that 40 years, and in the end found a compromise. Part of the territory finally set out for Russia, part of the territory finally assigned to the people’s Republic of China”, – said Putin. According to him, this became possible due to the high level of trust between Russia and China. “And if we achieve the same high level of trust with Japan,” as with China, you “can find some compromises,” said the President.

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