The Japanese entered into a territorial dispute with themselves

The Japanese entered into a territorial dispute with themselves

Part of the population willing to make concessions, and the top of the ruling party — no.


The softening of the position of the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe on the Kuril Islands, threatens to cause a split in the elites and society. Japanese citizens demonstrated their support for Mr Abe to solve the territorial issue with Russia step by step, on the basis of the 1956 Declaration. This follows from the polls conducted by the Asahi Shimbun, the Sankei Shimbun and Fuji TV channel. It was opposed by the Secretary General of the ruling liberal democratic party (LDP), Toshihiro Nikai, the name change, the country’s position “unacceptable.” Activists in Sakhalin, meanwhile, has started collecting signatures against any form of territorial concessions to Japan.

64,9% of survey participants, conducted by the newspaper Sankei Shimbun and Fuji TV station, supported the acceleration of negotiations with Russia on the basis of the Soviet-Japanese Declaration of 1956. It involves the signing of a peace Treaty and the transfer by Russia to Japan of island Shikotan and ridges Habomai. While 35.9% of respondents believe that the country may well be satisfied with these two areas and to close the territorial issue with Russia. 61,6% believe that we should all seek the return of all four Islands. Slightly different results show the poll Asahi Shimbun. According to him, to be satisfied with only two Islands agree 11% Japanese and 51% believe it quite reasonable to obtain two of them, and then to continue negotiations for two more. 25% are not willing to accept anything otherwise, except to the return of all four Islands at once.

Recall, the leaders of Russia and Japan, Vladimir Putin and Shinzo Abe announced the acceleration of negotiations “on the basis of the 1956 Declaration” on November 14 during the meeting in Singapore. Japanese Prime Minister later clarified that this does not constitute a waiver of Tokyo from the requirements of all four Islands, but what he specifically meant, is not explained. It most likely is a version, called “two plus alpha,” he entered into circulation, when Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, who led the negotiations with the Russian Federation in 2001. This option involves the signing of a peace Treaty, linked to the transfer of two Islands to Japan, followed by a discussion of the fate of the other two Islands in the new conditions. Vladimir Putin, on 16 November, noticed that there is no “automatic transmission” Islands do not need to wait, no matter how evolved the negotiations. He drew attention to the fact that in 1956 there any indication on the timing of the transfer, nor its form, nor under whose sovereignty remains a territory.

Newsof the non-public nuances. Do give Russia the Kuril Islands?

Despite the fact that the acceleration of negotiations on the basis of the 1956 Declaration in both surveys were supported by more than half of Japanese are opposed by the General Secretary of the ruling LDP (it is a member and Mr. Abe), Toshihiro Nikai. “It is unacceptable that established Japan’s position was so dramatically changed, he said, and I don’t think things are now changing”. Mr. Nikai pointed out that “for such a serious change is necessary to gain the understanding of Parliament and the Japanese people”, hinting at the need for a referendum.

Mister Abe until no new comments were made and its position is not clarified. The successful conclusion of negotiations with Russia in its interests, for the last few months the approval rating of his foreign policy in General is around 48%, having fallen back from a peak of 62% in 2015 (data from Pew Research). The approval rating of the Cabinet as a whole is even lower, 42.3 percent, and stagnated, while the disapproval rating has reached 38.2% and is growing at 2% per month (data Jiji Press). The biggest complaint voters expressed against the decision of Tokyo to place on the island of Honshu American anti-missile systems Aegis Ashore: 44% oppose it, and support a total of 29.8 per cent.

Just yesterday the US Department of defense approved the decision to give Tokyo the eight interceptor missiles SM-3 Block 1B and 13 of the latest missiles SM-3 Block 2A for a total of $561 million. the Placement of these missiles also causes a sharp rejection of Moscow and Beijing, considering them against you.

While in Moscow and Tokyo decide the fate of the four Islands, Chairman of the Sakhalin branch of the Russian geographical society, the former Deputy Sergey Ponomarev told “Interfax” that started collecting signatures against any version of the transfer to Japan of Russian territories. “Residents of Sakhalin and the Kurils are concerned that as a result of such negotiations, the Islands of the lesser Kuril ridge can give Japan, he said.— I get calls, people ask where you can sign the appeal against the audit results of the Second world war and the transfer of the Islands”.

Michael Korotkov