Hoping to reclaim the islands, Tokyo is also trying to question the decisions of the victorious powers in Yalta, Potsdam, as well as the 1951 San Francisco Treaty, which contains Japan’s rejection of all the Kuril Islands. In particular, it is argued that Shikotan and Habomai allegedly refer to the continuation of the island of Hokkaido, and the concept of the Kuril Islands allegedly does not embrace Kunashir and Iturup. However, during the presentation of the terms of the San Francisco Treaty in the Japanese parliament, it was stated, "the concept of the Kuril Islands, which appears in the treaty, includes all the islands, both northern and southern." At the same time, any geographical atlas considers the Kuriles as a single geographical concept. Even the British Encyclopedia refers to Kunashir and Iturup as "the largest of the Kuril Islands."
It should be recalled that as far back as 1956, the USSR, according to the maritime declaration, was ready to cede Habomai and Shikotan islands to Japan, reserving the strategically important Kunashir and Iturup in response to the signing of a peace treaty. However, the United States intervened, threatening Japan with depriving the Ryukyu archipelago with the island of Okinawa, which was then under American control, if Japan accepted the conditions of the USSR.
The failed compromise was, in fact, the last precedent in history when the Kuril question could get off the ground.
At the same time, the Russian side has repeatedly made it clear to Japan that it is ready to begin a dialogue in order to gradually restore economic cooperation, and then move on to unresolved political issues. However, the Japanese for a long time made it their priority in bilateral relations the solution of the territorial issue.
For decades, politicians to raise their ratings have regularly used the topic of the so-called «northern territories» in Japan. Every new prime minister promises to solve this problem.
The head of the Japanese ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Masahiko Komura, noted that a peace treaty between Russia and Japan should be signed under the current leaders of the states - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He noted, "Now there are strong leaders in power, and therefore it is necessary to take advantage of the situation and make efforts to conclude a peace treaty."
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia is genuinely interested in solving the problem of the Kuril Islands and is ready to conclude a peace treaty, while he noted the need for a compromise so that the interests of none of the parties would be infringed. In addition, Japan needs to recognize the outcome of the Second World War.
The principle of the inviolability of the outcome of the Second World War should be taken as the basis for a new stage of Russian-Japanese relations, and the term “return” is forever forgotten. Russian President Vladimir Putin realizes that by losing the Kuriles in one form or another, we can provoke an irreversible process of disintegration of Russia itself.
The transfer of the Kuril Islands will set a precedent of territorial claims for other countries. This will essentially be a step towards revising the outcome of the Second World War, which may be followed by territorial claims to Russia by Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Turkey, etc. The prestige of the Russian Federation may be reduced in the international arena, since territorial concessions to a foreign power, as a rule, do not add respect to the state and raise doubts about independence from foreign policy.
As for the peace treaty, its absence does not allow Japan to become a full member of the world community and various international organizations; therefore, Japan is interested in signing it much more than Russia. Russia needs normalization of relations with Japan - however, this normalization of Japan is needed more.