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Senator says Russia should leave Japanese politician’s remark on Kuril Islands unanswered

Vladimir Dzhabarov said that Russia is not going to discuss dividing the Kuril Islands

MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. Russia should not respond to a provocative statement by Chairman of the opposition’s Japanese Communist Party Kazuo Shii on talks about the Kuril archipelago, First Deputy Chairman of the Russian upper house’s International Affairs Committee, Vladimir Dzhabarov told TASS.

The Japanese Communist Party leader said in an interview published by Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper on Sunday that at talks with Moscow Tokyo should outline its stance that the entire Kuril archipelago is Japan’s territory. According to the politician, this would help Japan return the Southern Kuril Islands.

"I believe we should not react to this statement at all. As far as I know, the Communist Party of Japan is not the ruling party and it does not unite large social groups either. To tell you the truth, I have not even heard about this party before. Their statement is provocative and is aimed at fueling tensions in the relations between our countries," Dzhabarov said.

The senator emphasized that Russia’s condition for signing the peace treaty is an absolute recognition by Japan of the Second World War’s outcome. "If it does not recognize it, then probably, the peace treaty cannot be signed. As for dividing the Kuril Islands, Russia is not going to discuss this at all," he stressed.

Russia and Japan have been in talks to sign a peace treaty since the mid-20th century. The main stumbling block to achieving this is the ownership issue over the Southern Kuril Islands. After the end of World War II, the Kuril Islands were incorporated into the Soviet Union. However, the ownership of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan Islands and the Habomai Islands is being challenged by Japan. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has stated many times that Russia’s sovereignty over the islands is beyond doubt. In 1956, the Soviet Union and Japan signed a joint declaration on ceasing the state of war, but no peace treaty has been signed so far.

On November 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed at the Singapore summit to accelerate the Russian-Japanese peace treaty talks basing on the joint declaration as of October 19, 1956. The joint declaration between the Soviet Union and Japan stated that the state of war had ended whereas diplomatic and consular relations were restored.