Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke in favor of continuing the dialogue with Japan on a peace treaty. His words during a meeting with the heads of international news agencies at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) reports Interfax…
Putin recalled the amendments to the Russian Constitution and pointed out the need to take them into account. “But I do not believe that we should suspend the conversation on the peace treaty,” he said.
At the same time, the Russian leader drew attention to the fact that the Japanese position on this issue has changed very often. According to him, in 1956 there were two islands. Later, at the initiative of Japan, the negotiations stopped altogether, but then resumed again. Then only two islands were discussed. Then Japan changed its position once again, and it was about four islands. Putin stressed that “Russia and the Soviet Union never agreed with this.”
Earlier, the Japanese news agency Kyodo News published declassified documents that testified to the intentions of the leadership of the Soviet Union to conclude a peace treaty with Japan in the 1970s. As part of its signing, Moscow planned to resolve the territorial dispute with Tokyo by transferring two of the four Kuril Islands – Shikotan and Habomai.
At the same time, the Union hoped that Japan would provide guarantees of non-aggression both from its side and from the side of the American military stationed in the country. Nevertheless, as the newspaper notes, the empire’s authorities insisted on the transfer of all four islands, and during the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka to the USSR, the draft peace treaty was never presented.
After the publication, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that this information was obtained from the former archive of the Central Committee of the CPSU, which means that historians should be engaged in their study and interpretation to a greater extent than journalists.
As a result of the Second World War, a peace treaty was not concluded between Moscow and Tokyo. The main obstacle to its signing was the unresolved territorial dispute over the southern part of the Kuriles – the Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan islands and the Habomai group of islands. The Japanese side calls the South Kuriles northern territories and does not recognize Russian sovereignty over them. Moscow, in turn, does not recognize the very fact of the territorial dispute.