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Tokyo ‘ignores reality’ when it puts the Russian Kuril Islands on its 2020 Olympics map – Moscow

Tokyo ‘ignores reality’ when it puts the Russian Kuril Islands on its 2020 Olympics map – Moscow
Moscow said Tokyo is ignoring the outcome of World War II, after Japan’s official map for its upcoming 2020 Olympic Games marked the Russia-controlled Kuril Islands as its own territory.

From time to time, the Japanese government “is trying to ignore reality, namely, Russia’s unquestionable sovereignty over the Southern Kurils,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday. Tokyo has consistently been protesting against “our legitimate activity” on the islands, which doesn’t help bilateral ties, she added.

Zakharova was referring to a map of Japan published on the official website of the 2020 Summer Olympics. It represented not only the five main Japanese islands of Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku, Hokkaido and Okinawa, but also the Kurils and a group of disputed islands known as Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan.

Tokyo ‘ignores reality’ when it puts the Russian Kuril Islands on its 2020 Olympics map – Moscow

The territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands has been poisoning relations between Russia and Japan for several decades. The four islands, Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan, and Habomai, were handed over to the USSR under the post-war 1945 Potsdam Declaration.

The USSR and the Japanese Empire ceased World War II hostilities in 1945 with an armistice that was not followed by a peace treaty. In 1956, they signed a vaguely worded, non-binding declaration that underpinned the prospects of a sovereignty handover after the two sides sign peace accords.

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Since then, Tokyo has tried to claim the four islands, known in Japan as the ‘Northern Territories’, suggesting that it regain sovereignty over the southernmost part of the archipelago.

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