Monday, March 28, 2022

Japan Protests Russias Military Exercises In Kuril Islands - Government - UrduPoint

Tokyo has taken exception to Moscow's military exercises on Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai islands in Russia's Kuril Islands chain, which Tokyo refers to as its "Northern Territories," given the suspension of peace treaty dialogue between the two countries, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said on Monday.



On March 25, the Russian Defense Ministry announced the military exercises involving 3,000 people in the Kuril Islands.

"These activities are happening in the northern territories from the Russian military, and we... have been collecting information. On March 25, through a diplomatic channel, for the northern four territories, Russia has been increasing their military activity and this is something intolerant for us, so we launched a protest," Matsuno said at a press conference.

At the same time, Matsuno noted that the defense of Japan is not directed against any particular country or region but, given that the relations with Russia are worsening, Tokyo cannot rule out certain options while forming a future national security strategy.

Relations between Russia and Japan have been marred for many years by the absence of a peace treaty.

In 1956, the Soviet Union and Japan signed a joint declaration in which Moscow agreed to consider the possibility of transferring the Habomai and Shikotan islands to Japan after the conclusion of a peace treaty. The fate of Kunashir and Iturup was not addressed in the document. The Soviet Union hoped the Joint Declaration would put an end to the dispute, while Japan considered it only as part of the solution to the problem, and did not renounce its claims to all the islands.

Subsequent negotiations did not result in a peace treaty. Serious opposition arose from the United States, which threatened that if Japan agreed to the transfer of only two of the four islands, the move would affect the process of returning Okinawa to Japanese sovereignty.

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