Territorial claim far-fetched and unworkable

Kuril Islands with Russian names
The Kuril Islands with Russian names. Borders of Shimoda Treaty (1855) and Treaty of St. Petersburg (1875) shown in red. Since 1945 all islands northeast of Hokkaido have been administered by Russia. (Map and Caption Wikipedia)


Recently, an advanced anti-aircraft rocket system of the Russian forces went on combat duty on Iturup Island of the southern Kuril Islands.


The newly deployed air defence system is a latest improved model of C-300 anti-aircraft rocket system, which can intercept ballistic missiles and other flying objects within an altitude of 37 000m and a radius of 400km.


Russia announced that it was deployed there for national defence.


On December 1, the Japanese embassy in Russia lodged a protest to the Russian foreign ministry, in which it asserted that Moscow's military move goes against Japan's standpoint on the "northern territories" (the southern Kurils).


On the next day, Japanese Cabinet secretary Kato in a press conference said that Russia is reinforcing armaments on four islands of the "northern territory", adding Tokyo would continue to keep an eye on the movements of Russian forces in future.


Iturup Island where the recent deployment took place is located in a hot spot which has long been the subject of territorial dispute between Russia and Japan.


The region which is called by different names in Russia and Japan reverted to Russia as a result of the Second World War. However, Japan has claimed the dominion over the region ever since, repeatedly asking Russia for its "return".


History textbooks in Japan describe the "northern territory" as an "inherent part" of its territory, teaching distorted history to young generations.


An exhibition for asserting "Japan's dominion over the southern Kuril Islands" was held in Tokyo early this year.


The Russian foreign ministry denounced that Japan's behaviour showed once again its attitude of not admitting the result of World War II completely, saying that the legal sovereignty of the Russian Federation over the southern Kurils is indisputable.


Russia takes every opportunity to underline that the islands are legitimate part of the Russian territory where its sovereignty is exercised, rejecting Japan's persistent claims. It is deploying military equipment and staging drills in the region to bolster up national defence, while developing the regional economy.


(Pyongyang Times - December 20, 2020)

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