The first flight between Japan and the southern Kurils will be held June 18


RIA Novosti

The first flight, which will connect Japan and the Russian Kuril Islands, will be held on Sunday 18 June, Kyodo news Agency reported, citing government sources.

The question about the beginning of flights between Northern Japan and southern Kuril Islands was discussed during the meeting, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin in late April. Still, there was only sea route to visit the former Japanese inhabitants of the four southern Kuril Islands of Kunashir, Iturup, Shikotan and Habomai. To expand exchanges and facilitate visits to the graves of former residents of the Islands was proposed by air.

Facilitate the visit by the Japanese South Kuril Islands, as well as the possibility of starting joint economic activities were included in the agenda during Putin’s visit to Japan in December last year. Then it was 80 signed documents on economic cooperation, a further 20 documents signed during the reciprocal visit by Abe to Moscow. Joint economic activities will go on four areas: fisheries, tourism, health and the environment.

Tokyo believes that joint economic activities on southern Kuriles will be a step forward to the conclusion of a peace Treaty between the two countries — one of the main problems in Russian-Japanese relations. Japan connects the signing of the peace Treaty with the decision of the territorial problems — the country claims the Islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan and Habomai, referring to bilateral Treatise on trade and borders of 1855. The return of the Islands Tokyo made it a condition of signing a peace Treaty with Russia, which after the Second world war and was not signed.

The position of Moscow consists that southern Kuriles became part of the Soviet Union at the end of the Second world war and the Russian sovereignty over them with appropriate international legal design, not subject to doubt.