New Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced Tokyo’s sovereignty in the South Kuriles during a debate in the country’s parliament. His words convey RIA News…
According to the Japanese prime minister, the government aims to conclude a peace treaty with Russia and “resolve the problem of territorial affiliation.” In addition, he expressed a desire to develop relations between the countries in the field of culture, economy and politics. The authorities would like to promote economic cooperation based on an “eight-point agreement”, as well as “developing specific measures to strengthen them,” Kishida explained.
At the same time, in September, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi rejected the proposal of the Russian side to create a special economic zone (SEZ) on the southern islands of the Kuril ridge. In particular, the Japanese side did not like the plan with the fact that Russian laws would continue to be applied on the territory of the islands. This would infringe on the legal position of Japan in working on joint economic projects, they calculated in Tokyo.
Japanese voters selected the country’s former foreign minister, Fumio Kishida, as prime minister on September 29. The politician was elected the new chairman of the country’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) following a second round vote – he won 257 out of 427 votes. Immediately after the election, the politician said that he was ready to immediately take up his duties, among which he highlighted the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and the solution of economic and social problems.
But already in October, Kishida announced that the Japanese government would not change its position on the signing of a peace treaty with Russia. It will continue to adhere to the concept that such a document can be signed only after the issue of Kuril ownership is resolved.
At the same time, Kishida confirmed that Tokyo will negotiate peace in accordance with the agreements reached in 2018 in Singapore during the reign of Shinzo Abe, who then served as Japanese Prime Minister. The politician stressed the importance of the comprehensive development of relations with Moscow.
According to political scientist and professor at Tsukuba University Itsuro Nakamura, changes in relations between Russia and Japan under the new government headed by Fumio Kishida should not be expected. The expert said that the reason for this was the presence of the rival of Prime Minister Sanae Takaichi, who adheres to extreme right-wing views. The unexpected growth of her popularity allowed the politician to take a high party post and forced Kishida to reckon with her opinion, despite the fact that he himself wanted to develop relations between Moscow and Tokyo in the direction of economic cooperation.
Due to a dispute over the ownership of the southern part of the Kuriles, Moscow and Tokyo cannot sign a peace treaty following the Second World War. Japan regards the islands of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and the Habomai group of islands as their “northern territories”. In turn, Russia does not recognize the very fact of the territorial dispute.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the absence of a peace treaty between Russia and Japan is nonsense. The Russian leader recalled that Moscow has never refused a dialogue with Tokyo on this issue, but conditions were constantly changing there.