We were expecting something like this from Japan to acquiesce on the possibility of having the Kuril Islands returned to Japan from Russia. Negotiations are ongoing between Japan and Russia and it seems as though Russia will retain the islands, at least that is what the media is putting out, and my bet is that if Russia retains the Kuril Islands, Japan will receive massive concessions from the Russians on trade and infrastructure projects in Russia. The suspense continues and will have to wait until Vladimir Putin’s arrival in Japan this December to see what they have decided if in fact they decide at all as to the status of the islands. This could be a huge turning point in Russian and Japanese relations as the Anglo-American sphere of influence is coming to an end in this region of the world. It is also probable that Russia may need Japan at some point in the future to counter China’s economic growth, not to mention this is the first time a Russia leader of Vladimir Putin’s stature has visited Japan.
What’s Behind Media Claims About Japan’s Change of Heart Over Kuril Islands
October 20, 2016
According to the report, Tokyo is considering recognizing two of the four disputed islets as belonging to Russia.
It was also reported that prior to the December visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan, Tokyo is revising its strategy on the issue, in an attempt to overcome a deadlock in the negotiations with Russia. The Japanese government may offer a major concession to Moscow, including handing over the two smaller islands to Moscow.
According to Kyodo, Tokyo is ready to become more flexible on the issue and will not insist on Moscow’s recognition of Japan’s sovereignty over the islands.
However, the Japanese Foreign Ministry quickly rebuked the claims, underscoring that the government had not changed its stance on the issue.
Many experts say that despite loud headlines in media, in fact Moscow and Tokyo have not managed to bring closer their views of the problem. The overall situation reflects the positions described in the 1956 Joint Declaration between Japan and the Soviet Union.
Please go to the Sputnik article to read this entire story.