Ushishir, an uninhabited volcanic island located in the centre of the Kuril Islands

Russia provokes Japan by sending 3,000 troops to Kuril islands amid Ukraine war

The Japanese government said today that it has lodged a protest with Russia over the military maneuvers that the neighboring country plans to carry out in several of the Kuril Islands whose sovereignty is claimed by Tokyo.

The Japanese government submitted its complaints through diplomatic channels to Moscow last week, after Russia issued a maritime alert informing about the live-fire exercises it will carry out in the coming weeks, which will include several missile test launches.

These exercises will cover part of the Southern Kuril Islands, (called the Northern Territories and claimed by Japan), as well as part of the waters within Japan’s exclusive economic zone, according to the Japanese Executive.

“The deployment of weapons on the islands conflicts with the Japanese position and therefore we cannot accept it,” said Japanese government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno at a press conference on Monday.

Japan held an official ceremony on Monday to demand the return of the islands, and in which the Japanese Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, regretted that the dispute “remains unresolved” and that this has prevented the signing of a peace treaty between the two countries since the end of World War II.

The Japanese Prime Minister pledged to “move forward with tenacity in the negotiations” in line with the agreements reached so far, in statements reported by local media.

Four islands of the Kuril archipelago, composed of 56 islands and islets, were occupied by Russia during World War II and the dispute over their sovereignty is the main stumbling block to bilateral relations.

In 1956, the Soviet Union and Japan signed a declaration resuming diplomatic relations and establishing the rules to be met by the parties for the signing of the peace treaty, which included a provision on the return of two of the islands, although this has not been fulfilled since then.

-Thailand News (TN)


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