TOKYO, January 10 (Itar-Tass) — The Japanese government did not change the position on South Kurile Islands despite the fact that the prime minister’s special envoy mentioned different variants of the resolution of the dispute, Chief Cabinet Secretary Youshihide Suga said.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Suga said, “The government’s position remains unchanged under which if our sovereignty to the four islands is confirmed, we will take a flexible stance on the term of their real return.”
Thus, he confirmed that Tokyo claimed all South Kurile Islands – Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and a string of small uninhabited islands that Japan names Habomai and considers them a single island.
At the same time, the chief cabinet secretary confirmed that this government was ready to hold talks on this issue with Russia.
Japanese ex-premier Yoshiro Mori told BS Fuji TV on Wednesday, January 9, that the division of the disputed islands could be one of the variants of the resolution of the problem.
In his words, Russia could have the largest, economically developed island – Iturup. Japan would have Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai. The border will pass between Iturup and Kunashir. “If we draw the line, it would be the best variant,” Mori said, adding that the government’s special envoy, Shinzo Abe, would take a decision on this issue.
The 1956 Soviet-Japanese Declaration, which proclaimed the end of the war between the two countries and restored diplomatic, trade and other relations, says the USSR is ready to hand over Japan the islands of Shikotan and Habomai only after both countries sign a peace treaty. Russia and Japan recognise the efficacy of the document. However, Japan insists all South Kurile Islands be handed it over.