It should be recalled that since the beginning of 2019, the statements of the Japanese side have escalated. Thus, a representative of the Japanese government called the four disputed islands of the Kuril Ridge «the ancestral territory» of Japan, in February, the Prime Minister of Japan S. Abe declared Japanese sovereignty over the «northern territories», and in April, the Japanese began to note the Kuril Islands as the territory of Japan at school textbooks and geographical maps, which is extremely unacceptable.
Also, at the end of April 2019, it became known that the official Tokyo plans to strengthen control over the islands and straits in the South China Sea, increasing the range of anti-ship missiles from 200 km to 400 km. However, it should be understood that this measure of Japan is connected mainly with the dispute over the Russian Kuril Islands. After all, an increase in the range of the missiles will allow control of the space up to the Kuril island of Urup (including the disputed islands of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan), as well as the southern part of Sakhalin Island.
Moreover, on May 12, 2019 from the Japanese publishing house of «Yomiuri» it became known that Japan buys in the USA 9 military convertible planes «Osprey», capable of flying in helicopter and airplane mode. Their armament consists of a machine gun and small-caliber six-barreled cannon, and the main task is to transport from 24 to 32 people with armament to a distance of more than 1600 km with a cruising speed of over 440 km per hour.
But, despite the fact that lately, on the eve of the G-20 Summit, which will be held in Japan in June 2019, the Japanese side’s rhetoric has somewhat softened, and phrases about the indispensable return of disputed territories disappeared from recent reports of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, negotiations between the Russian and Japanese foreign ministers, Sergey Lavrov and Taro Kono, took place on May 10 in 2019, a divergence in positions on the peace treaty was noted.
S. Lavrov also said that the Kuril Islands did not «shine» to Japan, since it was a strategic issue for Russia, recalling that the Japanese themselves refused in 1956 the two islands of the Kuril ridge, Shikotan and Habomai, which Nikita Khrushchev offered them, who tried to persuade Japan to neutrality. It is important to note that according to this declaration, these islands should have been transferred to Japan after the signing of the Peace Treaty, however, the proud Japanese under the United States pressure refused and decided to remain under the protectorate of Washington, which, in turn, threatened to take Okinawa Island away from them. Then N. Khrushchev wanted the same thing that Russian President Vladimir Putin did not want to allow now - the appearance of American bases near Russia. After all, if the islands were under the jurisdiction of Japan, they would naturally automatically become American, and the Japanese, by virtue of their weak character, would allow building military bases there. But Russian diplomats hold the same opinion - the sovereignty of the Russian Federation over the Kuril Islands is not subject to dispute, and Moscow has absolutely no plans to transfer the islands to anyone.