Tokyo issued a formal diplomatic protest after Russia’s prime minister gave names to five uninhabited islets in the Kuril chain. Japan still claims sovereignty over some of the islands in the chain, which it lost to Russia following World War II.
Only a quarter of Japanese people support their government’s line when it comes to the Kuril Islands dispute, where Tokyo seeks to secure full sovereignty over four Russian Far East islets, a new survey has revealed.
Tokyo has denied seeking a joint administration over the Kuril Islands, saying it wants a decisive resolution of what it calls the "issue of the possession” of the islands, which became Russian territories after Japan’s defeat in World War II.
Russia might soon open a new naval base for its Pacific Fleet on one of the islands in the Kuril chain. A special military and geological commission is now assessing the infrastructure potential of Matua island, which Japan has also laid claims to.
The Japanese Prime Minister will visit Moscow for the first time in a decade. Shinzo Abe pledged to reset ties with Russia, end a stalemate in bilateral relations, gain momentum in economic cooperation and finally enact a World War II peace treaty.