Japan joining NATO? That’s like going back in history and learning about Japanese officers on board German submarines involved in transporting highly refined uranium in gold lined containers to Japan at the end of WWII. What is behind Germany’s Angela Merkel offering Japan’s Shinzo Abe a chance to join NATO? This would completely undermine Japan’s desire to have the Kuril Islands returned to Japan considering how NATO has been provocatively moving its military closer to Russia in Eastern Europe. Does anyone really know what country actually has legal possession of the Kuril Islands? Regardless, Russia will never cede the Kuril Islands to Japan, not with America building up its Pacific military forces to counter China’s perceived military growth.
May 2, 2016
Merkel Offered Shinzo Abe NATO Membership, Reports Japanese Press
German Chancellor Angela Merkel unexpectedly proposed that Japan join the NATO alliance during a dinner meeting with Japanese Prime Minister last March, The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported on Saturday.
“Shinzo, why not join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization?” Merkel asked Abe.
“I can convince British Prime Minister Cameron and French President Hollande,” she added.
The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that a surprised Abe replied, “Maybe in the future,” in the knowledge that Japan is unlikely to join NATO.
“If we join now, our negotiations with Russia will stop,” Abe explained, referring to talks between Japan and Russia regarding some of the Kuril Islands, a volcanic archipelago bordering the Sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a speech at the Lower House’s plenary session following a North Korean nuclear test, at the National Diet in Tokyo on January 6, 2016.
Russia maintains that it has sovereignty over all the islands in international law, based on treaties signed at the 1945 Yalta Conference, the 1945 Potsdam Declaration, the 1951 Treaty of San Francisco and Article 107 of the UN Charter.
However, Japan claims four of the southern Kuril Islands are its territory, based on an 1855 trade treaty with Russia, and the notion that the four islands are not part of the Kuril Islands archipelago that Japan renounced sovereignty over in the 1951 treaty.
As a result of the territorial dispute Japan and the USSR, and consequently Russia, have never signed a permanent peace treaty since the end of the Second World War.