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Russian MP says getting threats from Japan over his stance on Kuriles

July 06, 2012, 7:28 UTC+3
“An unending hysteria is underway in Japan over this theme,” Dr Pushkov said
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MOSCOW, July 6 (Itar-Tass) — Chairman of foreign policy committee at the State Duma, Dr Alexei Pushkov, said Thursday night he had received messages containing threats over his publicly voiced position on the legality of Russia’s jurisdiction over the Southern Kurile islands.

“An unending hysteria is underway in Japan over this theme,” Dr Pushkov said. “After I said openly that the Southern Kuriles belong to Russia, I got a message from the Twitter informing that I’ve been placed on a ‘death list’ of some kind.”

“This situation manifests an instance of a rather imbalanced psyche,” he went on. “There’s a feeling Tokyo has decided to conduct a dual policy towards Russia.”

“On the one hand, Japan is seeking to establish good relations with us and to expand contacts,” Dr Pushkov said. “On the other hand, the Japanese government thinks it is doing a noble thing every time it tries to impose on us in a harassing manner its own understanding of who the Southern Kuriles really belong to.”

He voiced the confidence that Russia would not succumb to Japan’s blunt pressure.

Dr Pushkov warned the Japanese against the perils of the dual stratagems.

“If the Japanese side really wants to attain a breakthrough in relations with Moscow, then it should remember that it actually undermines the positive elements derived from negotiations and fruitful bilateral contacts every time when it makes protests over a trip to the Southern Kuriles by one or another /Russian/ official,” he said.

“If Tokyo really wants to maintain interaction and to hold talks on the issues arousing its concerns, it should select the line of conduct that wouldn’t dismay the Russian citizens but would motivate Moscow to hold talks on the entire spectrum of problems” existing in relations between the two sides.

Dr Pushkov recalled that Japan’s reaction to the trip, which Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev made to the Southern Kuriles recently, produced indignation in Russian society and triggered a big number of remarks where the ordinary people assessed Tokyo’s demarche in an extremely unfavorable light.

“It’s a totally absurd step to summon the Russian ambassador in Tokyo and to demand some sort of explanations from him regarding the Prime Minister’s visit to a region that is internationally recognized as an integral part of Russia,” Dr Pushkov said.

“Practically all the countries of the world recognize Russia’s territorial integrity inclusive of the Southern Kuriles and the U.S. obviously represents the only exception on the issue, as it gives a quiet but persistent support the Japanese,” he said.

“Russia believes the very fact of expression of disapproval in connection with Medvedev’s trip is an absolutely unacceptable action for Russia,” Dr Pushkov said.

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