The transfer of the Habomai and Shikotan groups gave Japan the opportunity to lay claim to the Chinese and Korean islands (Diaoidao and Tokto, respectively) located on the strategic arteries between the East Asian seas and the Pacific Ocean. These claims in Tokyo began to be put forward precisely after the aforementioned declaration, and more actively from the beginning of 60's: this coincided with the beginning of the Soviet-Chinese political and ideological confrontation. The time for the escalation of such claims, which persist until now for Beijing, Taipei, Pyongyang and Seoul, was not without reason ...
But the rights to the colossal and much more important strategically ex-Japanese islands in the western and central sectors of the Pacific Ocean in Tokyo do not even stutter. Because they were expropriated by the United States from 1946 – 1947, and the United States and Japan, we recall, for 65 years already - military-political allies ...
Declaration as a provocation
The Soviet-Japanese declaration noted that the USSR agrees to the transfer of the islands of Habomai and Shikotan, however, with the condition that the actual transfer of these islands will be made after the conclusion of a peace treaty. But in 1960, Japan signed a new (after 1951) military agreement with the United States, securing at least 80 of US military bases and facilities on its territory. It seems that the Kremlin came to their senses and, on behalf of the USSR government, sent the “Memorandum” to the Japanese side, according to which a new provision is being formed in connection with the Japanese treaty with the United States that prevents the implementation of the declaration on the transfer of Habomai and Shikotan. According to reports, Molotov, Shepilov, Kaganovich, Soviet Ambassador to Japan Tevosyan (who was dismissed by Khrushchev from the post of Minister of Ferrous Metallurgy of the USSR at the end of 1956 — Tevosyan held this post from 1940) that is, at the session of the country's Supreme Council. But these figures were soon defamed and expelled from the party, and Tevosyan fell seriously ill and died in March 1958 of the year.
Japan, of course, doesn’t consider that “Memorandum” to be an official legal document.
“Transmission”, as is known, is fundamentally different from “return”. And recall, all the Kuril Islands, including Habomai, were designated by the San Francisco Peace Treaty (1951) as previously captured by Japan and therefore disconnected from it in favor of the USSR. But before that, the Japanese government in the autumn of 1946 announced the US military administration that according to the directive of the command of the American troops No. 677 of January 29, 1946 of the year recognizes the new Soviet-Japanese border along its entire length. And in 1947, both sides completely demarcated this border.
But due to the refusal of the United States to invite China, the DPRK and Mongolia to conclude the San Francisco Treaty, Moscow did not sign it. What soon took advantage of the United States and Japan, putting forward the term "rejected northern territories." Moreover, on April 28, 1952, the US Congress adopted a resolution, without limitation, on the need to revise the geographical conditions of the said treaty and allied documents on Japan concerning the USSR. Namely, in that resolution, it was recommended that the US government should consider not only all the Kuril Islands, but also South Sakhalin (!), To be illegally rejected by the Japanese territories. The State Department approved this document at the beginning of May 1952. And although his status was not elevated to the level of the law, in the United States and Japan since that time they have been following these recommendations, at least with regard to the South Kuriles. The USSR in 1952 – 1953 officially opposed the resolution, but from 1954, these protests stopped ...
It is characteristic that in 1951 a group of Soviet scientists proposed to rename Japanese Habomai into the islands of Tanfiliev or Anuchina, in honor of the Russian geographers who visited these islands in the second half of the XIX century. In 1952, Stalin endorsed this idea, but its implementation (with clarification of the new name) was deferred by Khrushchev and a number of other “fellow-students” of Stalin, as they were called in the political literature of the USSR of that period ...
An interesting chain: in 1954 – 1956, we recall, the USSR over-the-clock refused to rent Port Arthur, Dalny (in the PRC), Porkkala-Udd (in Finland), withdrew its troops from Eastern Austria (facilitating the escalation of famous events in Hungary). Then - Habomai with Shikotan, and after - deepening differences with China (and Albania, North Korea, Romania). It seems that this was the Khrushchev beginning of a long-term transnational line to weaken the military security and geopolitical positions of the USSR.
In the case of the islands, the Khrushchevites strategically played up Washington and Tokyo in their course of revising the Japanese-Soviet border and, in general, abolishing the Kuril part of the peace treaty with Japan. This, of course, worsened relations with Beijing and Seoul, because Tokyo began to actively aspire to Chinese Diaoyu and Korean Dokdo. There is evidence that in November 1956, Kim Il Sung sent a sharp letter to Moscow about the consequences of island promises from the USSR. And the head of the “Chinese Republic in Taiwan”, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, was shocked without exaggeration: he told 1956 in late October: “No one expected Soviet support for Japan’s plans to revise post-war borders. That declaration will encourage Japan in its territorial claims to other countries. And if this is indulged in the Kremlin after Stalin, I have nothing to say. ”
A characteristic detail: in spite of Beijing’s difficult confrontational relations with Taipei and Pyongyang with Seoul, we emphasize that they are united in counteracting Japanese claims. And we are ready to jointly defend the territorial integrity of China and Korea - Japan was convinced of this more than once.
Islands for the elect
And what about the vast Pacific territories that belonged to Japan from 1920 (actually from 1918) to 1945 year? By the end of October, 1946 of the United States “pushed through” the decision of the UN Trusteeship Council to transfer to management Washington the vast ex-Japanese archipelagoes - the Caroline, Marshall, Mariana, Palau, located in the central and south-western waters of the Pacific Ocean. Their total area together with the adjacent water area is over 95 thousand square kilometers. Japan received these possessions by decision of the League of Nations in the 1920 year, before they belonged to Kaiser Germany, defeated in the First World War.
As expected, up to 90 percent of the Japanese population of these islands in 1945-1947 was returned to historical homeland, and they themselves began to be saturated with US military facilities. It is noteworthy in this regard that the leadership of France, Holland and China of those years insisted on the principle of equal rights of countries - allies in the anti-Japanese coalition on the territory. This was stated, in particular, by representatives of Paris, The Hague and Nanjing in the UN Trusteeship Council. Of course, France had more grounds for such claims, since almost half of the South and Central Pacific islands still belong to Paris. Holland did not lag far behind France: in its possession (until 1962 inclusive) under the general name “Western Irian” were the western and central parts of the very large island of Papua New Guinea, and also (until 1952) up to a third of the territory of present Indonesia .
But the expansion of the presence of France and especially of Holland in the Pacific at that time was not in the interests of the United States. Not without the influence of Washington, Paris is today outside of APEC and the recently created “Trans-Pacific Partnership” ...
In Paris and the Hague in these matters, the hands of the United States were linked to the growing military-technical support to the neo-colonial wars of France and Holland in Southeast Asia during this period. At the same time, the United States assisted Kuomintang China in the war against the CCP, which received support from the USSR.
And in Great Britain, the rules of the game were immediately understood after the capitulation of Japan: the main task was to restore their colonial order in Malaya, Hong Kong, Singapore, in northern Borneo (Kalimantan), in the 1940 – 1942 years occupied by Japan. It was London that succeeded, and again, not without the help of Washington.
The USSR advocated international custody of the islands claimed by the United States, but by the end of 1946, the Western powers basically supported the American position. True, the leadership of France offered to transfer to custody of Paris about a third of those ex-Japanese islands, but in vain. And the United States, in retaliation from 1950, began to reduce aid to France in its war in Indochina. As a result, Paris suffered a sensitive defeat there in 1954 ...
In 80-x, the beginning of 90-s, almost all of the ex-Japanese islands mentioned, from the US 1947-th patronized (that is, under the protectorate) of the USA, were merged into the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau as supposedly independent states. But their political and economic, including financial dependence on Washington remained, as did the network of US military facilities.
In Japan, from the end of the 50 to the middle of the 70, there were groups for the return of these territories, as well as for the repatriation of Japanese citizens (or their descendants). This was sometimes reported by the Soviet media, and China, according to a number of data, provided support to these activists. But after 1977, any mention of them disappeared. Perhaps this is the result of changes in the Japanese policy of Beijing after the death of Mao Zedong and the successful joint work of the intelligence services of the United States and Japan.
And the Soviet-Japanese declaration of 1956, alas, was, is and will be the basis for Tokyo’s territorial claims to the Russian Federation.
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