Why does Japan need Russian Kuril Islands? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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At the end of January 1946, the Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Powers, General Douglas MacArthur, expelled the Kuril Islands from Japan, and a few days later the USSR proclaimed sovereignty over them, and now Russia is USSR’s successor. From this moment began one of the longest territorial disputes in the history of Russia. For more than 70 years Japan has not agreed with such a division of territories and insists on the return of the islands of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and the Habomai islands to its country.
However, Russia's position on the Kuril Islands remains changeless: "This is the result of the World War II, and today it is a sovereign Russian territory, confirmed in international documents." Japan supporting its rights to the islands, refers to the Shimoda treaty on trade and borders, signed in 1855, according to which Russia recognized Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai as Japanese territory. In memory of this treaty since 1981, with the support of the authorities in Japan, they celebrate the "Day of the Northern Territories", the celebration of which in Japan was a vivid illustration of how the "national idea" comes to an extreme bordering on extremism.
Japan, of course, is well aware of all the illegality and precariousness of its position in the territorial dispute over the islands, but does not intend to retreat. The return of the islands became for some of Japanese society a kind of "national idea."
In 1956, the USSR was ready to hand over to Japan Habomai and Shikotan as a gesture of goodwill, but only after conclusion a peace treaty. But the United States intervened, and Japan refused to sign a peace treaty on such terms.
The fact is that Washington threatened Tokyo that if a compromise with the USSR on the "Kuril problem" was reached on the sharing of the islands, the Ryukyu archipelago with the island of Okinawa would not be returned to Japan under US administration.
After that, Japanese politicians were talking only about the full return of all the islands. And they almost always found support from the USA, which declared their readiness to assist Japan in returning the islands, however without specifying in what form assistance would be provided.
Moreover, Washington has repeatedly stressed that it recognizes the sovereignty of Japan over the four southern islands of the Kuril Chain. After the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin that the absence of a peace treaty between the two countries is an abnormal situation, Tokyo decided that Russia was ready to transfer the islands. But Vladimir Putin, with all his seriousness and validity, explained to Japanese leaders about the inadmissibility of transferring lands legally belonging to Russia to anyone, especially to a state that is in alliance with the main potential adversary.
One can only be surprised that the Japanese politicians, in the midst of the heightened danger of the beginning of an armed conflict in the region, which is fraught with the use of weapons of mass destruction, are still trying to incline the Russian leadership to territorial concessions.
In the case of the transition of the southern Kuriles to Japan, Russia will lose the ability to control the entry of foreign ships and submarines into the Sea of Okhotsk, which is the combat service area of strategic missile submarines of the Pacific Fleet. The straits of the southern Kuriles provide their "own" access to the open ocean for the ships of the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Federation.
In addition, according to the statements of the Japanese side, there is an agreement between the United States and Japan, according to which, in the event of the transfer of islands under the sovereignty of Japan, the US military base will appear on the Kuril Islands and the American missile defense system will be deployed.
Currently, American submarines patrol the northwestern Pacific Ocean region from Kamchatka to the Kuril Islands, so if US-Russian relations deteriorate, US submarines and warships can enter the Sea of Okhotsk by going beyond the Kuril line. Thus, in order to prevent such a turn of events, Russia needs to strengthen the defense capability of the Kuril Islands. The 18th machine gun and artillery division is now deployed in the Kuril Islands, the latest anti-ship missile systems are deployed, and in the near future a new naval base will appear.
Thus, under current conditions, when there is a military alliance between the United States and Japan, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Russian policy in the field of security, domestic policy, and the international situation is unrealistic. And Russia's loss of the Kuril Islands will undermine the country's security.

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