The Japanese authorities intend to protest the Russian side in connection with the visit of Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to the Kuril island of Iturup, which Japan considers its territory. This was announced on July 26 by the secretary general of the Japanese government Katsunobu Kato.
“The visit of the Russian Prime Minister to Iturup contradicts Japan’s consistent position on the northern territories and deserves our deepest regret. In the near future, a protest will be expressed to the Russian government, ”he told reporters at a regular press conference.
According to Kato, after the information appeared about the preparation of Mishustin’s trip to the island, the Japanese side repeatedly sent Russia through diplomatic channels an appeal to refuse the visit.
In addition, the head of the Japanese Cabinet said that the state authorities “reacted carefully” to the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin about “unique and unprecedented” proposals to involve Japan in the economic activities of the Kuril Islands.
“We would like to refrain from guessing about [их содержании], but on the issue of joint economic activity in the northern territories, we have already conducted active negotiations with the Russian side on how to carry it out without violating the legal positions of both countries, “Kato explained.
On July 8, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Japan’s reaction to the development of the Kuril Islands is incomprehensible to Moscow, and Tokyo’s nervous position does not contribute to progress in negotiations on a peace treaty. The minister explained that Japan’s reaction is becoming a pretext for Russia’s tough statements and reminders that the southern part of the Kuril Islands is an integral part of the Russian Federation.
As a result of World War II, Russia and Japan never signed a peace treaty. The main obstacle in reaching an agreement is Tokyo’s claims to the South Kuriles. Japan still calls the islands of Kunashir, Iturup and a number of territories of the Lesser Kuril Ridge their northern territories, although as a result of the war they crossed the USSR.