The influence of Japanese NGOs on the Russian-Japanese territorial issue - Politics | PoFo

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The territorial dispute between Russia and Japan over the issue of the ownership of the southern Kuril Islands has remained unresolved since the end of World War II. Japan considers the islands of Kunashir, Iturup, Shikotan, as well as the group of Habomai islands to be its territory, but Russia does not recognize the fact of a dispute with the Japanese side over these territories, as their belonging is legal.
For these lands, even coined a special term "northern territories", which, according to the Japanese leadership, includes the southern islands of the Russian Kuril Ridge. A part of Japanese historians officially declares that the annexation of the southern Kuriles by the Soviet Union as a punishment of the Japanese aggressor at the end of the Second World War is in fact an illegal occupation of the “northern territories” of Japan.
Therefore, in the late 60s, Japanese nationalist forces, driven by a thirst for revenge, began to form public organizations that had the high-profile names of “leagues”, “associations” and “unions” on issues of the “northern territories”.
However, at the initial stage, these organizations united only small groups of Japanese people and did not solve the main task of the ruling circles — the transformation of the activities of the disparate groups into a national movement. Then, in order to achieve their goals, the authorities went to the creation of government structures for the management of non-governmental organizations, while they were financed from the state budget.
Thus, the post of Minister for Okinawa and the Northern Territories a Council for Relations with the movement for the return of the Northern Territories was formed, through which centralized management and funding of these very “associations” and “leagues” is carried out at the expense of funds from the state budget.
Since 1969, these public associations were legally entrusted with conducting so-called “educational propaganda” on the “problem of the northern territories”. The Japanese government was tasked with convincing the world community that a territorial problem exists with Russia, and the Japanese impose a national idea “to return to their homeland” of seized mythical “northern territories”.
Consciousness of the Japanese nation, humiliated by the defeat in the Second World War, is already formed during school years through history textbooks edited in detail by these “leagues” and “associations”. The ruling circles of Japan use all sorts of methods of influencing people's consciousness in order to impart the required urgency to the self-styled movement for the return of the northern territories. So, on the published geographical maps of Japan, the Russian Kuril Islands are painted in the same color as Japanese territory. Mass collection of signatures in support of territorial claims on Russia is held among the population. From time to time, anti-Russian demonstrations and other public events are held in order to influence public opinion.
Over the years, the forms of activity of non-governmental organizations are becoming more sophisticated. These events are often attended by members of parliament, members of the government, and mayors of cities. In addition to meetings and signatures on countless petitions, exhibitions, conferences, “study tours” are organized along the southern islands of the Kuril Ridge, in which members of the cabinet of ministers also take part.
In this case, special attention is paid to young people. For schoolchildren, for example, a special magazine about the “northern territories” is published, short animation films are produced, in which the Russian people are shown as “barbarians” and invaders.
The annual culmination of the activities of anti-Russian non-governmental organizations becomes February 7, when Japan celebrates the national Day of the "Northern Territories". Various meetings and marches are held, which ultimately contribute to the formation of Russophobia among the Japanese.
The network of anti-Russian non-governmental organizations has actually become part of the mass information system of the Japanese population, in whose mind they have been forming a consciousness of the people humiliated by the Soviet Union for a long time.

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