News / Asia

Japan Pledges to Solve Territorial Dispute with Russia

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers his speech during a national rally marking the Northern Territories Day in Tokyo, Feb. 7, 2013.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers his speech during a national rally marking the Northern Territories Day in Tokyo, Feb. 7, 2013.
Japan says two Russian fighter jets briefly entered Japanese airspace near the northern island of Hokkaido on Thursday, prompting Japan's air force to scramble fighter jets in response.  Tokyo lodged a protest with Moscow but Russia has denied that its jets had entered Japanese airspace.  The incident comes amid a 60-year old feud between the two countries over northern territories. Japan's prime minister is now seeking a solution to the dispute.

 
The Japanese prime minister, who has taken an assertive stance on disputed territories since returning to office in late December, pledged Thursday to resolve a lingering islands dispute with Russia.

The decades-old impasse has meant the two countries have technically remained in a state of war since 1945.

Japan claims four islands in the northwestern Pacific. The closest is just several kilometers from the northernmost point of Hokkaido (Japan) and some 1,000 kilometers to the south of Kamchatka peninsula on the Russian mainland.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke briefly to thousands of people at an annual rally in Tokyo dedicated to the return of the islands.

Abe says negotiations with Moscow are ongoing with the aim of settling the ownership question so a peace treaty can be signed with Russia. He expresses “strong hope” progress will be made and the dispute can finally be resolved.

The Soviet military invaded the southern part of Sakhalin and the Kuril islands within days of declaring war against Japan in August of 1945. Japan surrendered on August 15, bringing to an end the Second World War. The Japanese civilians living on the islands were expelled.

Japan has since contended that Soviet troops continued the August 1945 offensive against its forces even after the Imperial Japanese Army surrendered.

Japan says the unresolved territorial issue still prevents it from concluding a peace treaty with Russia.

Japan had been awarded a portion of Sakhalin as part of the Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905 after Japanese forces won a seven-month war with Russia.

Japan began colonizing the Kuril islands in the late 19th century. The ongoing dispute involves four of the chain's 18 islands.

Russia has been strengthening its military presence in the Kurils in recent years and visits by Russian leaders to the disputed islands have prompted strong criticism from Tokyo.

Moscow considers the islands claimed by Japan to be an integral part of the Russian Federation.

The Russians have proposed joint use of the disputed territory, which has potentially lucrative onshore and offshore mineral resources.

Leaders of both countries, in recent years, have jointly expressed a desire to solve the dispute through talks.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jack Off from: Mehoff,Ca 31702
February 08, 2013 4:56 AM
It is difficult to fathom...nothing better to do than ramp up military tensions...what complete idiots...You make my taxes go up in America where we crush all that is evil.....I cannot imagine Nazi Germany wielding the power of America....has at its fingertips.
We could conquer the world and we don't want it....someday another hitler will come and your last vestige of freedom will be how could they let this happen...The USA must assemble world intellects and decide how to proceed. War must end. Famine must end. All kill themselves regardless of stature. We should stand united in building a better world....someone needs to get a plan to get this next generation motivated...or we fall to petty jealousy's wants and needs that are not satosfied if they d not come freely and naturally...love JoeG

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid