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Russia and Japan Puts Aside Territorial Disputes & Start Peace Talk Again

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26.11.2019

The Russia-Japan territorial disputes surged at a meeting of the foreign ministers of the two countries, Toshimitsu Motegi and Sergey Lavrov, at Nagoya, Japan, on November 22 on the sidelines of a G20 foreign ministers’ gathering. Lavrov publicly threw cold water on the Japanese spin that Tokyo is engaged in “persistent talks” with Russia on a peace treaty bringing the two countries’ World War 2 hostility to a formal ending.

Lavrov emphatically stated that any forward movement on a peace treaty will have to be within the ambit of the Russia-Japan 1956 joint declaration, which, as he put it, “clearly states that first Russia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty over all our lands, including those territories, are recognized, thus recognizing the results of World War II, and then everything else will possibly be discussed.”

In plain terms, according to Lavrov, Moscow may consider discussing a peace treaty only after Tokyo unequivocally recognizes Russian sovereignty over Kuril islands and territories that came under Russian control in the Far East during World War 2. Japan’s stance, on the contrary, can never converge on that point. Wouldn’t Moscow have known it already? Of course, Lavrov has only reiterated a consistent Russian stance.

Russia is speeding up the construction of military dormitories on the Southern Kuril Islands

Tokyo has been baiting Moscow with the proposition that a peace treaty will open the door to large-scale investments by Japanese companies for the development of the Russian Far East (which is a national priority for the Kremlin). Tokyo has also been smart, projecting Russian President Vladimir Putin as a strong but pragmatic statesman who is willing........

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