icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Southern Kurils dispute brings protests both in Russia and Japan

Southern Kurils dispute brings protests both in Russia and Japan
More than 300 people have protested against Japan's territorial claims on the Kuril Islands in Russia's Far East. There was also a mirror protest in front of the Russian embassy in Tokyo, Japan.

The rally sponsored by the Japanese government, takes place annually on the Day of the Northern Territories, the name the Japanese gave to the Kurils.

In addition, Japan rejected the Russian President Putin's reported proposal to split the islands.

Nevertheless, sensible voices could be heard in the country. For example, the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, said all efforts should be made in finding a solution agreeable to both countries.

Speaking at an all-national rally for the return of the Northern Territories in Tokyo, where thousands of people demanded the return of the disputed islands, Mr Shinzo called Russia an important ally which has common interests with Japan in many issues.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry said Russia is prepared to look for mutually acceptable solutions with Japan, but insists that its control of the disputed territories, based on the results of World War II, is not up for negotiation.

The closest of the Kuril Islands is just 15 kilometres from Hokkaido, Japan. A rich fishing ground and blessed with mineral deposits, the islands have an all-Russian population of 30,000, many of whom live below the poverty line.

Japan may feel that it would revive the economic fortunes of the region, but the issue is just as much about healing the scars remaining from the country's humiliation in the Second World War.

In fact, the Kurils remain the main reason for which the countries have still not signed a peace agreement after World War II.

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.