Kuril Islands Dispute

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Kuril Islands Dispute

Recently, Japan has described the ‘Kuril Islands’ as illegally occupied territory by Russia in its ‘Diplomatic Blue-Book’ 2022 released. It should be noted that Japan refers to the ‘Kuril Islands’ as its northern region, while it is called ‘South Kuril’ by Russia.

For the first time in many years, Japan has discussed the dispute over the ‘Kuril Islands’, and for the first time it has used “illegal occupation”.

Kuril Islands/Northern Region:

  • The Kuril Islands are a group of four islands located between the Sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean, north of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost province.
  • Moscow and Tokyo have both claimed sovereignty over the region, but the islands have been controlled by Russia since the end of World War II.

The basis of claims according to Japan:

Confirmation of Japan’s sovereignty over the islands, The Treaty of Shimoda 1855, the 1875 Treaty for Japan’s right to the Kuril Islands in exchange for uncontested control of Sakhalin Island (Treaty of St. Petersburg), and 1904–05 After the Russo-Japanese War in which Japan emerged victorious, several treaties such as the Treaty of Portsmouth of 1905 occur.

Basis of claims according to Russia:

On the other hand, the ‘Yalta Agreement’ (1945), and the Potsdam Declaration (1945) are claimed by Russia as proof of its sovereignty. In addition, Russia argues that the 1951 San Francisco Treaty is legal evidence that Japan acknowledged Russian sovereignty over these islands.

Source – The Hindu

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