Russia PM's defiant island visit angers Japan

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  • 0

    my2sense

    looks more like an LL Bean winter catalog.... with a tank for a prop.

  • 0

    illsayit

    why cant Tokyo follow the route of economic ties in that region. It is a perfect place for entry to Russia as a tourist and to ride the train across the continent, follow historical ties. Japan being the first part of the leg, or the end. I would love to visit the islands as a tourist, if the infrastructure was in place. Tokyo feeling diminished is starting to get a big-head about it, as if the more pity they can stir-up the bigger they feel. Maybe it's the airlines who arent interested in it?

  • -24

    YuriOtani

    I would of sent the Russian Ambassador home to Moscow and recall the Japanese Ambassador. This is a clear signal Russia does not want improved relations. The Russians only respect force and determination. Make all imports and exports from Russia illegal. Make Japanese sell all of their holdings in Russia and forbid new investment. If Russia seizes any more Japanese property, seize Russian assets in Japan. We are still at war with them, Japan has nothing to lose not trading with them. Anything they have to sell can be bought elsewhere.

  • -4

    kwatt

    He must love the islands and probably he wishes to live in one of them after his retirement someday.

  • 5

    paulinusa

    "...drawing new protests from Tokyo following years of unrelenting tensions."

    Doubt if there's been much tension in Russia about this. The usual ritual of Japanese protests is old , stale and just getting plain silly. Do something radical such as a new proposal or take legal action(if that's possible) Otherwise just give it up.

  • -4

    mimitchy

    Try reasoning with a regime that is widely accused of ballot stuffing and stifles democratic intervention in Syria.

  • 14

    Cletus

    Yuri,

    For someone who claims to hate war and to have suffered as a result of the last one your country was in you sure do like to take the war route quite often. It seems you chose that every time, and all from the safety and comfort of the USA. I guess its easy to talk tough when your not even near the thing your talking about hey?

    Oh and when was the last time Russia seized any Japanese property? That would be close to 70 years ago, to quote you "stop living in the past". That is done, its over its old news.

  • 7

    sfjp330

    Russians remember well. If you look at the history of Russian-Japanese War in 1905, Russians are still pissed off at the settlement after the war. Following a month of negotiations, a peace treaty was signed September 1905. The treaty stated that Russia and Japan agreed to evacuate Manchuria. Russia gave Japan the southern half of Sakhalin Island, which lies between the two countries. We know that the island was returned to Russia after World War II. At that time, Korea came under the control of Japan, and Russia transferred to the lease of China's Liaodong Peninsula to Japan. As a result of this treaty, Japan emerged as a major world power.

  • 0

    kwatt

    Do something radical such as a new proposal or take legal action

    Japanese politicians are so coward that they can't do such things ever. It seems that Japan would let Russia take its course all the time.

  • 4

    6wings

    Keep beating that dead horse. What would Japan do with a population that has lived for a generation in Russia? The people living there would not benefit. Russia is not going to give up those islands and surrounding waters out of benevolence and clearly Japan doesn't have the leverage to force Russia to do so.

    That's how the lines were drawn after the battle was lost: a penalty for playing for the wrong side.

  • 7

    NetNinja

    Japan angry?!? Reall?? Not at TEPCO?!?

    What are you going to do about it? If any of you would be so kind as to answer that question.

    I like this guy. He goes to every corner of Russia to meet the people he works for. Good on ya. Those islands belong to Russia before you even think about responding.

  • -12

    YuriOtani

    Cough, Cletus Russia in 2006 made foreign companies sell most of their shares in Sakhalin Energy at a loss just as good as stealing the investment itself. Japanese investors lost billions. I do not at all advocate war but instead not feeding the Russian Bear. No trade is not a hostile act, the greedy old men in Japan will send others money into Russia to be lost again. The only question is when will Russia steal the next the current investments?

  • 12

    Ronald F Stark

    The Russians only respect force and determination.

    Funny, I could say the same thing about the Japanese! Japan should consider itself lucky it wasn't carved up at the end of the war like Europe was. The Russians were set to invade Hokkaido from the north and the Americans would have come in from the south. How do you think Japan would look like today if that had come to pass? Japan started the war and should accept it's losses 67 years later.

  • -10

    Serrano

    When are the Russians going to return Japan's property?

  • 6

    toguro

    This is really a non-story, seeing as how Japan is powerless to do anything!!

  • 3

    smithinjapan

    They're Russian land, so why can't he visit?

  • 3

    Pukey2

    The first thing that comes to my mind is 'shoe on the other foot'.

    This is really a non-story, seeing as how Japan is powerless to do anything!!

    Ain't that the truth?! Russia's holding all the aces (and natural resources which Japan desperately wants).

  • 2

    Vesperto

    the islands are rich in gold and silver and lie in waters abundant in marine life.

    Aaah, so that's why. Business as usual.

    By the way, those 19,000 people, what do they call themselves, russian or japanese? What country to they want to belong to? To which country do they pay their taxes? What language do they speak?

    Since Japan only has defense forces, i don't see how a conflict could arise - are there japanese military on those islands? Even if there are, are the JDF any match for Russia's armies?

    Live and let live, just let go. The world is full of these disputes and it all comes down to national prides and economic interests (minerals in this case). Pride is stupid in itself, these disputes should be decided based on the people who live in those areas. Instead, governments insist of yapping about and puffing their chests. Drop it, deal with the problems that really matter to the peoples you represent.

  • 0

    m6bob

    Physical reoccupation of the islands looks like is not going to happen. What Japan should be doing is 'economic occupation'. Eventually the islands will be flooded with Japanese products and the inhabitants can't do without Japan and they begin to want to learn the language to find jobs and so on. Sounds familiar? It has happened to most parts of the world already. Get ready to conquer!

  • 6

    Brian Sutton

    Japan needs to grow up... you lost the land in war... you just can't say oh yeah sorry about the war.. I know we lost... we want our land back. Apparently Japan didn't think of this when they came into the war. I hope this continues to hurt Japan... I want to say.. so they learn, but THAT really won't make sense.. Japan really hasn't learned anything.

  • 2

    Brian Sutton

    And Serrano, why the heck should they? Again they lost in during war.. Get over it japan.

  • 1

    Vesperto

    the inhabitants can't do without Japan and they begin to want to learn the language to find jobs and so on. Sounds familiar? It has happened to most parts of the world already.

    In what world is that? This world can't do without quite a few japanese products, yes, but i don't see the world wanting to learn japanese - right now it's english -, or desperately wanting to move to Japan to find a job.

  • 10

    borscht

    Yuri,

    Japan has nothing to lose not trading with them

    Or, back on Reality Island:

    In 2010, the volume of trade between Russia and Japan almost doubled as against the previous year. Last year's trade turnover exceeded 24 billion dollars compared with the 12 billion dollars in 2009.

    Russia sells oil, steel, and non-ferrous metals. Japan sells cars. Which can do without the other?

    http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/02/02/42435835.html

    I realize Japan wants what it thinks are its islands back. I'm sure the Ryukyu people would like their kingdom back, too. Ain't gonna happen.

  • 10

    smithinjapan

    Serrano: "When are the Russians going to return Japan's property?"

    Again, it's amusing to see a lot of posters telling South Korean sex slaves -- women who were gang raped -- or the like to 'get over it', but when it comes to Japan being the 'victim' it's just that Japan never forgets. Japan lost the war, and Russia took the islands. That's called "spoils of war". Japan should be thankful Hokkaido is not Russian as well.

  • 8

    gogogo

    Japan lost the war, yes it used to be part of Japan but now it is not, I'm sorry you can not have your cake and eat it too....

  • 8

    Matthew Simon

    You got to Love Russia they don't do anything subtle. :)

  • 3

    Tom Webb

    Japan need to get over the so called "Northern Islands" as belonging to Japan. Historically, it was never owned by Imperial Japan and after WWII the islands was clearly in the hands of USSR. Russia owns the islands. She will NEVER give up the islands without losing a war with Japan. Japan, get over it.

  • -1

    alliswellinjapan

    If it is all about outcomes from the war and that Japan should thus"get over it" as some suggest here, then the meaningless debate should again arise on the validity of Russia's "sneaky" last-minue entry despite the prior nonagression treaty just as Japan was undergoing the atomic bombings and left with no room to worry about the protection of its northern islands, perhaps leaving the option of another war to win it back to be the only logical and inevitable solution. Thankfully however, in reality this is not the solution that the majority of the Japanese would tend to arrive at these days. Rather, everything should be discussed and sought to be resolved peacefully and amicably in the best interests of both countries. Putin continues to hint at giving "half" of the islands back, so at least there seems to be some room for negotiation, which is always good.

  • 7

    blackbagger

    So why is a Russian PM visiting these islands an act of defiance? He's a leader showing support for a poor part of the country. Same as if Noda went to Okinawa to help open a new factory.

  • -3

    ka_chan

    Japan had control of the islands since 1875 all the way up to Kamchatka. A 1956 treaty offered Shikotan and Habomai back to Japan. Although there is no historical evidence for Russia to hold the islands, Russians claim them as a war prize. Russian did not invade the islands until after Japan's surrender so that claim is dubious at best. That being said, I don't see Russia ever giving up the islands without another war. Geographically the area between Chirpoy and Simushir seems like a natural break. But like I said, I don't see any historical evidence for Russia to act reasonably.

  • 4

    wtfjapan

    @YuriOtani like I said before anything Japan has to sell can be bought elsewhere and cheaper, Russia has what the rest of the world needs to build what they want to sell oil gas minerals, and if Japan wont buy it theres plenty of other countries that will happily takes Japan quota, "JAPAN SELLS WHAT PEOPLE WANT, RUSSIA SELLS WHAT PEOPLE NEED!" theres a big difference, so who has the real power Japan or Russia!?

  • 3

    smithinjapan

    ka_chan: "Russian did not invade the islands until after Japan's surrender so that claim is dubious at best."

    The war was still on when Russia took the islands. Japan may have surrendered to the Americans (to try and avoid Russian labour camps), but it was not over yet when Russia took them. In any case, they are Russian now; owned and administered, so there is no reason why the President cannot go visit freely.

  • 4

    Cletus

    ka_chan

    Russian did not invade the islands until after Japan's surrender so that claim is dubious at best.

    Really considering the Russians invaded the islands on the 18th Aug 1945. The war with Japan didnt end until 2nd Sept. And before you go claiming that Japan surrendered on the 16th Aug etc please dont bother. Yes the Japanese signalled their intent to surrender but they continued fighting in some areas (including in the skies over Japan. They still tried to exterminate POW's to hide evidence of atrocities. So yes they signaled an intent to surrender but the surrender didnt come into full effect until Sept 2nd well after Russia's invasion.

    In the end it needs to be remembered that the sole reason Japan lost these islands is Japans own actions in instigating its empire building and attempt to conquer as much land as it could. It got what is deserved and it got off damned light too.

  • 0

    Vesperto

    It got what is deserved and it got off damned light too.

    I wouldn't call those two bombs the japanese had to endure light, quite the contrary; and the USA got away with it clean.

  • 2

    Cletus

    Vesperto

    I wouldn't call those two bombs the japanese had to endure light, quite the contrary; and the USA got away with it clean.

    Really. So yes they had "those" two bombs dropped on them. Did they lose any of their land (excluding these 4 islands)? Was their emperor removed and tried as a war criminal? In terms of casualties they certainly suffered a lot less than those the invaded, in terms of land lost and hardships they suffered much less than those they invaded. In terms of people being brought to justice, many never got charged with their crimes. And they still believe they did nothing wrong so sis they really learn their lesson. The loss of these islands should serve as a long term reminder of what they did and why they no longer own these lands.

  • 2

    johninnaha

    Bit of an exaggeration that.

    I don't know about "angers Japan!"

    I'm sure it got up the noses of the "Give us back our four islands" brigade.

    But most Japanese I know couldn't care less.

  • -3

    alliswellinjapan

    As according to Russian Alexander Solzhenitsyn the Nobel prize winning novelist, "Here we can see the unforgivable bluntness of our leaders in their attitude towards South Kurils. After having carelessly given Russian provinces to Ukraine and Kazakstan, they demonstrate fake patriotism by refusing to give back to Japan the islands that never belonged to Russia."

  • 3

    waltery

    I see it from both sides, Russia has it Japan wants it. It's a Russian bargaining chip that Japan plays with. Possession is 9/10th. All the boo hoo will not change Russia's stand. Just look at there attitude to Syria etc. This will be in the news every time Japan wants to take people's attention away from the real important issues

  • 0

    Thomas Michael Lewis

    Ask the people and be done with it. Why are these nations so incapable of respecting the residents wishes? Gibralter and the Falklands have referendums and be done with it. Prior to the Argentinian Invasion Britain was even willing to share the islands -against the residents wishes-

    Just ask the people and be done with it. History doesnt matter at this point, terrible things happen in War, they are small islands not a major landmass so ask those who are there now and lets not commit further crimes nor brew anger.

  • 1

    HowardStern

    Who exactly is he defying?

  • 3

    kenzoz

    Best I recall Japan invaded many islands (and I ain't going further to quote what they did to the inhabitants) and territories during the war(s), honestly don't see why they are whining at a game they were aces at. Buckle up and move on.

  • 1

    Weasel

    Why does Medvedev always gets stuck having to make the trip to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Odd...I thought it was Putin's turn to visit?

  • 1

    alliswellinjapan

    Weasel: I see the good cop bad cop tactic at work.

  • 2

    marcelito

    Ishihara & co. must be fuming ...but that is all that he and the rest of the rightwingers can do. War ended , Russia won ,Japan lost...to the victor go the spoils. Always did always will.End of story.

    Japan can get "angry " all it wants and it won`t make a slightest difference as most posters have already pointed out. As for the argument that Russia needs Japanese products, I,m sure South Korean companies would more than love to have a chance to refute that argument.

  • -1

    billyshears

    No one seems to have mentioned the disgusting way the Russian government has neglected their citizens sent to live on these cold and remote islands. These presidential visits are calculated to reaffirm the Russian stance that it is not going to give up its colonies (sorry, I mean "spoils of war", LOL; you've really got to be anti-Japanese if you believe that is some kind of justification) .

    "During a time of war, occupation of one country's territory by another can take place and according to international ar, the occupying country has the right to put the territory, based on military requirements, under its administration. However, at the same time, an occupying nation's obligation, including respect for the private rights of the residents are provided for by international norms including the 1907 Hague Convention respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land. Stalin ignored these international norms and incorporated the territories under occupation into its own territory by the Decree of Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, dated February 2, 1946. This act was executed without a peace treaty and was in complete violation of international law. However, under the totalitarian system, this annexation was disguised as if it were a legal act, and such propaganda had long been continued as if the islands of Etorofu, Kunashir, Shikotan, and Habomai had legally become Soviet territory. Consequently, the misconception that these were indeed Soviet territories began to take hold among people in the Soviet Union. In addition, reportedly, a misunderstanding arose that the resolution of the territorial issue between Japan and Russia is the question of ceding something that is originally Soviet territory to Japan, or the question of selling out such territory to Japan." <http://www1.american.edu/ted/ice/kurile.htm >

  • 5

    smithinjapan

    YuriOtani: "Still Japan should stop all talks, like with South Korea they are pointless. Like South Korea progress is made than Russia flushes it down the toilet. Cletus and Smith in Japan, you seem to like Chinese and Russians."

    I don't know why you'd say that, but I'm guessing it's just another poor attempt at retort when you've no actual ground to stand on. What's more, I've clearly said that with the Chinese/Japan island dispute Japan has the better claim to the islands, both historically and because they possess and administer them. This is the SAME reason why I feel the Russian and SKorean sides are stronger in THOSE disputes; possession is 9/10ths of the law, and those nations have possessed and administered them for some time. Why is it, though, that Japan will use that as the reason for the Takeshima Island, but then refuse it as a reason why the other islands belong to SK and Russia?

    So to answer your little attempt at a quip, I don't particularly like the Russians or Chinese any more than I do the Japanese, but the Russians at any rate certainly own the islands.

  • -4

    YuriOtani

    Am getting tired of this the mods read too much into my messages. Wish people will read my posts, Liancourt Rocks are now the property of the ROK. Japan should drop all claims, worthless place. No Japanese person every lived in that god forsaken place. Unlike the northern territories where Russia killed and drove off the population. The UN considers such a crime against humanity. It is strange users insult me all of the time and the mods never object. Anyhow looking at your writing, I would say you are from the American Northwest. If I could hear you talk would know for sure but why do you always take the Chinese and Russian side? I spent my youth training to fight both with our American friends. Tell you a secret about me, like the Americans of the 80's and beyond well enough. After all who do you think trained me? I still think there is going to be a war with China, Russia or both. Just wishing something will not happen does not make it true.

  • -1

    Aaron Stoner

    This is ridiculous! Japan is an Island nation already struggling with a shortage of land, while Russia is a land-bound nation with vast eastern expanses of lightly populated land. If Russia really needed more room for its population, it would attempt to settle its eastern expanse first. The territory that's not under dispute; Japan is clearly the most deserving of this extra territory.

    If Russia really wants to be tough on this, Japan can share the resources taken from the island with Russia in exchange for settlement rights/sole claim.

  • 4

    johninnaha

    The Japanese want the islands for the fishing grounds.

    There's a touch of pride about it too. But economics is probably the main reason.

    In the 1905 Russian-Japanese war, Japan held this area, up to Kamchatka. The Russian fleet had to go ALL the long way round to get to Japan. By the time they got here, they were out of fuel and knackered.

    There have been a couple of major changes in Russian government since then, but I don't think they have forgotten it. And looking at it from a Russian point of view, these islands are in a very strategic position.

    They are not going to let them go cheaply.

    Perhaps Ishihara could have a whip round and buy them for Tokyo?

  • -5

    billyshears

    the Russians at any rate certainly own the islands

    No, they occupy the islands "in complete violation of international law".

  • 0

    Cletus

    YuriOtani

    It is strange users insult me all of the time and the mods never object.

    Yuri, no-one insults you. You are just all over the place with your arguments. One day you say this the next day the opposite. Yes l critisise you, but that is because l disagree with your statements and some of your facts and figures.

    Anyhow looking at your writing, I would say you are from the American Northwest. If I could hear you talk would know for sure but why do you always take the Chinese and Russian side?

    Yuri, l am speaking for myself here as you originally questioned both Smith and l. I am not from the US as l have stated many times and would be more than happy to speak to you if it is so important to you for me to prove l am not from the US. As for taking the Chinese or Russian side, l actually agree with Smith its not that l like China or Russia any more or less than l like Japan. But to expand on that, l also dont agree with things the US does (just as SuperLib), and l dont agree with things my own country does. Its called having an opinion, and there are some things that l take an interest in hence have stronger opinions on. Nothing more nothing less.

    Anyway Yuri lets just agree to disagree.

  • 0

    YuriOtani

    Cletus, it is because I am a girl! Anyhow do agree with you about Japan Today, we do agree on some other things :) What you have to remember is that Japan is not going to sign away those islands. There are still Japanese alive today that use to live in those islands. If I give the Americans a hard time, what do I call the government in Tokyo? There are no easy answers my friend.

  • 2

    Cletus

    billyshears

    I really have to say thank you billy, l actually have sat down and started reading the 1907 Hague convention after you commented on it before and well what l find interesting is you are using this document to hold Russia accountable for its actions. Yet on almost every single point of this convention Japan was found wanting, and here you are using a convention that Japan totally ignored as a reason to give Japan back land it lost by violating this very convention. Hilarious.

    Oh and maybe you should read section 3 article 42 of the convention:

    Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.

    exactly what Russia has done. Yes they have breached some other points in the meantime regarding expelling citizens and seizing property but thats a different matter

  • -3

    billyshears

    Yes they have breached some other points in the meantime regarding expelling citizens and seizing property but thats a different matter

    I think it`s only right that you explain the other points that were breached by the Russians. And also explain why expelling citizens (at least you admit the Japanese that were thrown out of their homes were citizens) and seizing property is a "different matter". Please also explain some of the "almost every single point of this convention" where Japan was "found wanting".

  • -1

    Wakarimasen

    I will be outrside the Russina Embassy this weekend playing loud music and chanting and annoying the neighbours. That'll teach him.

  • 1

    Cletus

    billyshears

    I think it`s only right that you explain the other points that were breached by the Russians.

    Ok then they breached articles 46,47,52,53 regarding the seizing of private property.

    And also explain why expelling citizens (at least you admit the Japanese that were thrown out of their homes were citizens)

    Um no l refer to them as citizens in the respect that they where living there nothing more nothing less. As in the definition of citizen "inhabiting a place"

    Please also explain some of the "almost every single point of this convention" where Japan was "found wanting".

    Really you want me to list them all. Lets just say that if you look at all 56 articles the Japanese breached nearly every single one. So l will not list them all but you can find numerous examples online of breaches of almost each and every single article.

    As l said its amusing that you are using a convention that the Japanese completely ignored as your defense for why Japan should get islands it lost as spoils of war to another nation that it was at war with (mind you a war Japan started).

  • 1

    oberst

    Invest in the " lost " island . The Russians need the Jap. tech to make the seafood industry more efficient, shares the profits ( rent to the russians ? ) and the Japanese back home can have excellent and radiation free seafood . A win-win solution.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    YuriOtani: "It is strange users insult me all of the time and the mods never object."

    First, no one is outright insulting you, but as Cletus pointed out we DO refer to your contradictions when you go all over the place. You bash Americans constantly, and on issues related to Okinawa and the bases you bash the central government as well, but on issues NOT related to the bases or US presence there you suddenly see Japan as one people.

    "Anyhow looking at your writing, I would say you are from the American Northwest."

    Nope. I'm Canadian, Yuri, and let me tell you that if you bother to read any threads about the wars in Afghanistan and/or Iraq you'll see I'm VERY MUCH anti-US military and against the policies of much of what they do. I am also anti-war, which is one of the reasons why I respect the US presence in Japan -- it is a deterrent, whether you want to admit it or not. The war you speak of that seems so inevitable to you would be a certainty if the US were gone from the region, but as it is it is NOT a certainly because they are here.

    Back to the point, though, the Lion Court islands and the islands in question here are not Japanese, whether they were in ancient times or not. Russia has the better claim to these islands, they live on them, and administer them. Japan should have taken back two of the islands when the deal was offered to them way back when, but greed and politics took precedence, so now they won't get anything. They don't need to 'sign away' the islands because they are not theirs to sign off.

    "Cletus, it is because I am a girl!"

    And? Last I checked sex organs had nothing to do with stating opinion, same as they are in no way an excuse for them. I didn't know you were a woman until recently, truth be told, but nothing changed when I found out (save pronoun use).

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    YuriOtani: "First, no one is outright insulting you, but as Cletus pointed out we DO refer to your contradictions when you go all over the place."

    Meant to add, second, that plenty of posts that attack your comments are removed.

  • -1

    billyshears

    why Japan should get islands it lost as spoils of war to another nation that it was at war with (mind you a war Japan started).

    Japan and the Soviet Union were not at war throughout almost the entire period of the war because a neutrality pact was concluded between the two countries in April 1941. It was valid for five years. However, in August 1945, three days after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and the day an another one was dropped on Nagasaki, the Soviet Union, violating this neutrality pact, entered into war against Japan that was already on the brink of defeat. A week later, on August 14, Japan accepted the Potsdam Proclamation and surrendered to the Allied Powers.

  • -1

    billyshears

    Really you want me to list them all. Lets just say that if you look at all 56 articles the Japanese breached nearly every single one.

    Which ones did they breach concerning the disputed islands?

  • 1

    Cletus

    billyshears

    Japan and the Soviet Union were not at war throughout almost the entire period of the war because a neutrality pact was concluded between the two countries in April 1941. It was valid for five years. However, in August 1945, three days after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and the day an another one was dropped on Nagasaki, the Soviet Union, violating this neutrality pact, entered into war against Japan that was already on the brink of defeat. A week later, on August 14, Japan accepted the Potsdam Proclamation and surrendered to the Allied Powers.

    You make some interesting points there billy, but your points are flawed and overlook several things. You mention the non aggression pact between Russia and Japan and claim that Russia broke that pact. Ok lets look at that shall we. Yes it was signed in 1941 and yes it did run for 5 years. And the Russians as per the requirement of the treaty cancelled it one year prior to its end as was written in the pact. If they didnt cancel it the pact would have automatically been extended. Now you say Russia broke the treaty, well given the treaty in particular article 2 states that should one party be attacked the other party must maintain neutrality. Japan breached that part of the pact as early as 1943 when it allowed German UBoats to use its bases in the Pacific namely in Malaysia. It further breached the neutrality cause when it began swapping military technology with Germany while the Germans where invading Russia. On top of this there was sharing of technical, military and intelligence information between the two allies. Now that is a clear violation of the pact and in no way is it or could it be classed as being neutral.

    Russia attacked Japan at the exact time that it was requested to by the western allies. Within 3 months of the end of the war in Europe. Regardless of the situation Japan was in it was still at war and still fighting. As for Japans surrender the official VJ date is 2nd Sept. And infact the US was still at war with Japan until Dec 31 1946 when the presidential proclamation ending the war was signed. Now you say that Japan surrendered on the 14th Aug, in fact it was the 15th when the Emperor announced that Japan would surrender. However the war did not officially end until 2nd Sept and between 15th Aug and 2nd Sept the Japanese where still shooting down US planes over Japan the last one was 18th Sept and the Japanese also murdered many POW's between your surrender date of 15th Aug and the official surrender on 2nd Sept.

    So you still feel they where harshly done by?

  • -2

    Cletus

    billyshears

    Which ones did they breach concerning the disputed islands?

    Billy you need to reread what l said, you are throwing around the Hague convention and saying Russia is in breach of it. I merely pointed out that using this convention to defend the Japanese claim is a bit strange given that during its rampage the Japanese broke pretty much every article in the convention and now you want to use that same convention that Japan disregarded as the cornerstone of your argument to support Japan. Strange really

  • -2

    just-a-bigguy

    Mr Medvedev's visit the island was not just a tour....his excellence came with a heavy naval force backing him, there were 26 Russian navy ships lead by a Slava class heavy crusier and several destroyers, corvettes passing through the Soya strait at the same time of 'coincidence'! The signal is simple: This is our land, dont try to think about it! Russia should work together with China, the Russian ship came from the North, the Chinese ships came from the south in and out the island chainss urrounding Japan and those messages will be clear enough to wakeup the people of Japan who has unrealistic desire that the US navy will save them out of preils!

  • 1

    just-a-bigguy

    Japan keep arguing to get back those isles perhaps they were just interested with the islands are rich in gold and silver and lie in waters abundant in marine life. In contrast Okinawa doesnt have such valuables and resulted a very cold treatment from the japanese government!

  • -1

    Serrano

    "They're Russian land"

    Only because the Russians stole it.

    "And Serrano why the heck should they ( the Russians ) ( return Japan's property, the Northern Territories )? Again they lost ( them ) during war. Get over it japan"

    Following that logic, if the Japanese were militarily capable of taking back the islands and did so, it would be "The Russians lost them during war, get over it Russia. Look at a map, they're clearly Japanese territory.

  • -1

    billyshears

    you are throwing around the Hague convention and saying Russia is in breach of it

    I'm not throwing around anything. The article I quoted (as I showed in the post) was from the American University in Washington D.C. It correctly mentioned that the Soviet Union was in breach of the Hague Convention regarding its occupation of the disputed islands (as you then researched and admitted). The article continued: "However, at the same time, an occupying nation's obligation, including respect for the private rights of the residents are provided for by international norms including the 1907 Hague Convention respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land. Stalin ignored these international norms and incorporated the territories under occupation into its own territory by the Decree of Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, dated February 2, 1946. This act was executed without a peace treaty and was in complete violation of international law. However, under the totalitarian system, this annexation was disguised as if it were a legal act, and such propaganda had long been continued as if the islands of Etorofu, Kunashir, Shikotan, and Habomai had legally become Soviet territory." "International law" here is not referring to the Hague Convention.

    You mention the non aggression pact between Russia and Japan and claim that Russia broke that pact.

    "The terms of the Neutrality Pact required that 12 months before its expiry, the Soviets must advise the Japanese of this, so on 5 April 1945 they informed the Japanese that they did not wish to renew the treaty.[10] This caused the Japanese considerable concern,[11][12] but the Soviets went to great efforts to assure the Japanese that the treaty would still be in force for another twelve months, and that the Japanese had nothing to worry about.[13]"

  • 2

    Ancalagonzzz

    @billyshears If Japan would be able to take the isles by force(and survive the war it would cause), then ye, they would became legitimate Japanese territories once again. But its not gonna happen.

    And looking at the map is bad advise - after all you must look at the map from specific period of time when isles were already Japanese and not already taken over by Russians. After all if you just look at older map, then Ainu could demand the isles for themselves only too.

  • 1

    johninnaha

    US navy will save them out of preils

    Thank the Lord!

    The US navy is going to save us out of our preils.

    Whatever they are!

  • 3

    johninnaha

    The Kurils are Russian?

    Before the Russians, the Japanese claimed them.

    Before the Japanese, the Ainu, but they were killed off by the Yamato people.

    Before the Ainu?

    Who knows?

    And before them?

    Neanderthals probably.

    And monkeys before that.

    How far back do we have to go?

    It's a bit like Israel.

  • 0

    combinibento

    I wonder this every time I read one of these articles, so I have to ask: Does the average Joe in Japan even give a flying **** who these islands belong to? Has anyone even been there? Given the infinite power of modern weaponry and uberbombs capable of annihilation from afar, at some point even the politicians have to admit these rinky-dink islands don't have a whole lot of value in terms of military strategic defense. (Sorry, but otherwise America would have taken these crapholes over long ago like it did Guam.) So this is just a national pride issue? I just wikipedia's these biznotches and found the following:

    "As of 2003, roughly 16,800 people (ethnic Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Tatars, Nivkhs, Oroch) inhabited the Kuril Islands."

    Case closed, Japan. These do not belong to you. It's called "adverse possession." And possession is 90% of the law."

  • 0

    Serrano

    "Case closed, Japan. These do not belong to you."

    Following that logic, if Japan had seized Sakhalin island at the end of WW2, it would be "Case closed, Russia, this island doesn't belong to you."

  • -2

    Serrano

    Who can look at a map and say with a straight face that Kunashiri, Shikotan and the Habomai islands are not part of Japan?

  • -2

    nigelboy

    I don't know why you'd say that, but I'm guessing it's just another poor attempt at retort when you've no actual ground to stand on. What's more, I've clearly said that with the Chinese/Japan island dispute Japan has the better claim to the islands, both historically and because they possess and administer them. This is the SAME reason why I feel the Russian and SKorean sides are stronger in THOSE disputes; possession is 9/10ths of the law, and those nations have possessed and administered them for some time.

    Those are "your" reasons for why SK should have Takeshima, Russians with Northern Territories, and Japan with Senkaku. That's fine since those are "your" reasons.

    Why is it, though, that Japan will use that as the reason for the Takeshima Island, but then refuse it as a reason why the other islands belong to SK and Russia?

    I know you meant "Senkaku"'s there but you are wrong in that Japan doesn't think "Senkaku" belongs to Japan for the reason you stated above. As a reminder, they are "your" reasons and not the official stance of the Japanese government as to the reasons why "Senkaku" belong to Japan.

  • 1

    nigelboy

    Now you say Russia broke the treaty, well given the treaty in particular article 2 states that should one party be attacked the other party must maintain neutrality. Japan breached that part of the pact as early as 1943 when it allowed German UBoats to use its bases in the Pacific namely in Malaysia. It further breached the neutrality cause when it began swapping military technology with Germany while the Germans where invading Russia. On top of this there was sharing of technical, military and intelligence information between the two allies. Now that is a clear violation of the pact and in no way is it or could it be classed as being neutral.

    Cletus.

    You're reaching. If it was a "clear" violation of the pact as you state, I'm assuming that the Soviets at that time made a complaint to the Japanese Embassy in Moscow? Did at any time the Soviets voiced their displeasure towards Japan not adhering to Article 2 ?

  • 0

    alliswellinjapan

    My view is that with Japan's continued persistence which will obviously never die out, and the continued international support (primarily US) towards Japan's position and rights, it should be a question of time that the islands will (all or partially) be returned to Japan at some future point in time. However, I am afraid it may not happen within our lifetime, given (i) this matter will never find its place in the "international conflict to be urgently addressed" priority list (Japan has absolutely no intentions to enter into any warfare over this, which is obviously very comforting for Russia) and no other country (incl the US) will be serious enough to commit to resolving the matter at the cost of any undesired frictions to be caused, (ii) there is pretty much little impact towards the people of both Russia and Japan given the Japanese citizens who used to live there have left and the impact of Russia's efforts to implement human migration should be limited (frankly not the first location many would choose as a place to live) and (iii) perhaps some more decades of time required for the education of the general public in Russia (with all due respect) to allow them to accept such a return to ever take place under some rational and mature thinking (as Solzhenitsyn has shown) leaving behind emotional assertions to their rights over what they currently consider as a well deserved "war prize". It will happen, but not any time soon.

  • -2

    nisegaijin

    At this moment the islands are Russian terriotory. Japanese gov have no say in what part of the country Russian prime minister chooses to go to.

    Russians don't get upset every time Noda goes to Okinawa, do they? so why should the Japanese.

    this is absurd.

  • -1

    just-a-bigguy

    Russia will escalating their deployment over the Kuriles, now the Japanese nationalistic fevered government understood their poor approach of diplomacy has kicked off a wasp nest!

  • 1

    Serrano

    When are the Russians going to return what they stole?

  • 1

    sfjp330

    Why did Russians sign the neutrality treaty with Japan in 1941? The treaty called for the two nations to observe neutrality when any one of the two signing nations was invaded by a third nation. Japan honestly did not attack Russia when Hitler's troops were near Moscow, allowing Stalin to redeploy fresh troops from the Far East. And Japan did not attack Russia in 1942, when Nazi troops were near the Volga and the Caucasus. Nonetheless, Russia attacked Japan in August 1945 and captured their islands. This has nothing to do with exchange in military technologies with Germany because it did not apply of this treaty. If Russia is so right, In 1956 Declaration why did Russia agreed to return to Japan two of four Kurile Islands? So what kind of allies can Russia look like after all that? Any treaty with Russia is no good.

  • -2

    Cletus

    nigelboy

    You're reaching. If it was a "clear" violation of the pact as you state, I'm assuming that the Soviets at that time made a complaint to the Japanese Embassy in Moscow? Did at any time the Soviets voiced their displeasure towards Japan not adhering to Article 2 ?

    Well a couple of points Nigelboy, 1. the Japanese also breached the treaty a mere 6 months after it was signed when the actually attacked and occupied Russian land at 2 points in Manchuria. This was reported on Oct 28th 1941. 2. I think you will find Russia did voice their displeasure at this, they pulled out of the treaty and attacked Japan. 3. Do you really think that it was any great surprise to Japan that Russia nullified the treaty? As far back as late 1941 the senior Japanese military and political figures knew that Russia would eventually nullify the treaty and attack Japan and this was effectively confirmed in 1944 when Stalin referred to Japan as the aggressors and Japanese high command came to the conclusion that Russia would attack sooner rather than later.

  • 1

    billyshears

    On April 5, 1945 the Soviet Union denounced the pact, informing the Japanese government that "in accordance with Article Three of the above mentioned pact, which envisaged the right of denunciation one year before the lapse of the five year period of operation of the pact, the Soviet Government hereby makes known to the Government of Japan its wish to denounce the pact of April 13, 1941."[4] The wording of the denunciation suggested that the Soviet Union wished to see the treaty go out of effect immediately, and the Time Magazine reported that the Soviet Foreign Commissar's tone indicated that the Soviet Union might go to war with Japan soon.[5] However, the text of the treaty clearly stated that the pact remained in force until April 1946. When pressed by the Japanese Ambassador Naotake Sato, Molotov confirmed that the treaty did remain in force till April 1946.[6]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet%E2%80%93Japanese_Neutrality_Pact

  • 0

    billyshears

    Here`s how the Soviet foreign ministry's Lovozskiy detailed how to extricate itself from the pact. His last sentence reads: **"Our denunciation must be so structured that the Japanese hope that, given serious concessions from their side, the Neutrality Pact may be extended for another five years." **

    http://books.google.co.jp/books?id=rddhxSKGQ9oC&pg=PA150&lpg=PA150&dq=soviet+neutrality+pact+1941+denounce&source=bl&ots=tj0UgpSAy0&sig=1Hr3Et_42UG1_fM5QYEVD-bLs4s&hl=en&ei=O_1-Ssm8OqD8tget-MnzAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=soviet%20neutrality%20pact%201941%20denounce&f=false

  • -2

    Cletus

    billyshears

    Im sorry l dont get your point, your complaining that the Russians tricked the Japanese? Much like the Japanese did to the US at the start of the war. Negotiate up to the minute the attack starts. Its called being sensible and buying time. And really the Japanese didnt believe it anyway as there are reports as l mentioned that as far back as late 1941, early 1942 the Japanese knew it was a mere matter of time before Russia attacked them.

  • -1

    billyshears

    My point is in answer to the assertion on this thread that Russia has rights to islands based on "the spoils of war" (which based on present standards is ridiculous anyway: like saying it would have been OK for Iraq to keep Kuwait). Your assertion that Japan knew "it was a matter of time before Russia attacked them" is, as Nigelboy correctly pointed out, "reaching" and obviously meaningless as far as the legitimacy of the pact in international law is concerned . You should try carefully reading the links I just posted.

  • -2

    Cletus

    billyshears

    My point is in answer to the assertion on this thread that Russia has rights to islands based on "the spoils of war" (which based on present standards is ridiculous anyway: like saying it would have been OK for Iraq to keep Kuwait).

    Billy, if for some reason Japan won the war would it have given back the land it conquered? Honestly. Did the US give back the land it conquered from the Mexicans, did the British give back the land they conquered (Scotland, etc), do nations that are victorious in war give back the land they conquered unless its part of a peace treaty? No they dont.

    Your assertion that Japan knew "it was a matter of time before Russia attacked them" is, as Nigelboy correctly pointed out, "reaching" and obviously meaningless as far as the legitimacy of the pact in international law is concerned . You should try carefully reading the links I just posted.

    So its reaching that it is well documented (and that means more widely than wikipedia) that the Japanese high command knew what the Russians would do in time? Yes it doesnt mean much but l will simplify this for you, Japan launched a war of aggression against Russia's allies. As such and as part of its obligation to those allies Russia attacked Japan at their request. It resulted in Japan losing land and that is the price that Japan must pay for its actions. And its time that the Japanese realised it was their actions and their actions alone that brought about this situation. As the old saying goes you reap what you sow.

  • 0

    billyshears

    You are going round in circles. The point is Japan was not technically at war with the Soviet Union until the very last moment when it then immediately annexed the disputed islands and (as you yourself admitted) against the Hague Convention threw out all the Japanese citizens living there without reparations. And although it is nothing to do with this dispute, the British (which includes the Scottish) have given back virtually all their colonial lands and the US gave back Okinawa. And did Stalin ever reap all the untold misery and death that he sowed? Looks like he's still reaping the benefits for Mother Russia in the South Kuril Islands.

  • -2

    Cletus

    billyshears

    The point is Japan was not technically at war with the Soviet Union until the very last moment when it then immediately annexed the disputed islands and (as you yourself admitted) against the Hague Convention threw out all the Japanese citizens living there without reparations.

    Billy, until the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor it wasnt at war with the US either. Do you think the Germans declared war on Russia before attacking them? The Russians renounced the treaty and attacked Japan so what? The Japanese knew it was coming, the Japanese started the whole ball rolling years earlier and now they complain that their actions cost them the islands. As for the Hague convention yes the Russians violated it. Just curious did the Japanese abide by the Hague convention when they conquered Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, DEI, IndoChina, Burma? The answer to that would be a resounding no. The Hague convention was dead and buried by the actions of the Japanese yet here you are complaining that the Russians didnt follow a convention that the Japanese had ignores for the previous decade.

    And although it is nothing to do with this dispute, the British (which includes the Scottish) have given back virtually all their colonial lands and the US gave back Okinawa.

    Indeed the British did after numerous coups, rebellions and independence movements fought for freedom. The US gave back Okinawa as it had always planned and stated they would. They could have quite easily kept is as they did some of the Japanese protectorates they seized.

    And did Stalin ever reap all the untold misery and death that he sowed? Looks like he's still reaping the benefits for Mother Russia in the South Kuril Islands.

    Such is life!

  • 1

    billyshears

    cletus: you could have saved yourself a lot of typing by saying in the first place that (as transpires with your every post) your only argument for Russia keeping the disputed islands is simply: Japan deserved to lose them because "you reap what you sow".

  • -4

    Cletus

    Billyshears,

    Just as your every argument revolves around the fact that the evil Russians broke their peace treaty and breached the Hague convention and attacked the poor Japanese.

    You seem to be trying your hardest to portray the Japanese as the victims here yet you conveniently forget the actions that got us to this point. You seem hell bent on looking at this in isolation from everything else when infact it is part of a larger picture.

  • 0

    Olegek

    @ka_chan

    Japan had control of the islands since 1875 all the way up to Kamchatka.

    Then we have a war between Russia and Japan 1904-1905 (Japan attacked Russia in Port-Arthur in the same way as US in Pearl Harbor- without declaration of war)

    A 1956 treaty offered Shikotan and Habomai back to Japan.

    Yes it was so in 1956 - long time ago....

    It was idea of Mr Khrushchev.

    He wanted a friendship with Japan

    It was possible in 1956 before Japan had signed Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan in year 1960.

    After that Khrushchev (who was very disappointed) declared that "only after the withdrawal of all foreign troops from the territory of Japan and the signing of a peace treaty between the USSR and Japan, the islands of Habomai and Shikotan will be transferred to Japan"

    In years 1956-60 US have done all possible to prevent the signing of the treaty- including the threat to keep Okinawa under American control forever.

    Although there is no historical evidence for Russia to hold the islands, Russians claim them as a war prize.

    Yes it was and it is a result of WW II . US also took some islands from ex Japanese Empire after WW II...

  • 0

    nigelboy

    Cletus. They are not points.

    There were 98 cases of armed conflict between Japan and the Soviets during 1941 near border/Manchria. The number was reduced to 58 cases for the Soviets concentrated on Germany while Japan concentrated Southward. The number was pretty much nill in 1943. However, both parties, despite those small conflicts, never resulted in nullifying the pact until Soviets decided to do so in August of 1945 despite the FACT that the foreign minister assured the Japanese delegate that they would honor until the expiration of 1946.

    Was Japan surprised when Soviets attacked in August of 1945? Probably not. On the other hand, was Japan hopeful that Soviets would HONOR the pact til expiration of 1946? You bet. But as billyshears alluded to, what I'm talking about is Soviets' violation of the pact which resulted in the gain of the islands and not what Japan or the Allieds (wonton bombing of civilians) violation of the Hague.

    Yes it doesnt mean much but l will simplify this for you, Japan launched a war of aggression against Russia's allies.

    Order of sequence please. Neutrality Pact--->Japan's attack on U.S.--->Declaration of United Nations.

    As such and as part of its obligation to those allies Russia attacked Japan at their request.

    And yet violating the FULL obligation of the neutrality pact which was in force and signed prior to Declaration of United Nations.

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