After the collapse of the Soviet Union, every time a new Russian President enters the country's top post, the next stage of huntings and gasps over the “northern territories” begins in Japan. At the same time, the requirements are often so different that it is not at all clear what exactly the Japanese authorities want to get from Russia. Then give them the entire Kuril ridge, and even cut off half of Sakhalin, then suddenly the claims are reduced to the 4 islands of the South Kuril ridge, then the conversation suddenly comes to 2 islands - Habomai and Shikotan. It seems that ever-changing demands are a special Japanese tactic, which, according to Tokyo, should bear some fruit.
However, in 2012, the Japanese faced a somewhat unexpected problem. If earlier they could flirt with the new Russian leader, expressing words of approval addressed to him and emphasizing that it is he who can bring happiness to the people of the Land of the Rising Sun forever, giving him the Kurils, today there is a person with the Japanese in the highest state post in Russia they are already well acquainted, and he knows all this “Eastern cuisine” very well.
And in general, objectively speaking, it is completely unclear, for whatever reasons, Russia should take, and give the Kuril Islands to Japan. History these places are extremely tangled, which does not allow us to speak of the Kuriles as a “historically Japanese” territory. When the first Russian and Japanese expeditionary corps began to land on the islands in the first half of the 17 of the 20th century, the islands were settled by Ainu tribes. The Ainu had nothing to do with Japan, which is confirmed even by the Japanese themselves. In particular, in the publication The History of Great Japan, published in the 18 century, the author offers information not only about the Kuril Islands, but even about the island of Hokkaido in a special section “Foreign Territory”. Moreover, if we are guided by the legal aspects of the right of a particular state to certain lands, we can turn to treatises relating to the era of the Great Geographical Discoveries. These treatises say something like this: the state has the right to call certain lands its own, which will first create their detailed map. We will not argue - the Japanese created the Kuril map a few years earlier than the cartographers of the Russian Empire. It was in the 30-ies 17-century. However, samples of the card itself make it clear that it cannot be called accurate. Rather, this Japanese, if I may say so, cartography only means that small islands are located north of Hokkaido (Matsumae), but no more (neither exact coastlines, nor real sizes). But in 1643, a more detailed map was made by Dutch navigators, headed by Martin Freese. At the beginning of the 18 century, Russian scientists had already drawn up detailed maps of the archipelago and even entered into business negotiations with the Ainu people, with the result that the majority of the indigenous population of the Kuril Islands received the citizenship of the Russian Empire several decades later.
It turns out that today's words that the Kuriles are exclusively Japanese lands are a real substitute for historical facts. If we are guided by historical paradigms, then it turns out that the Dutch had more rights to call the Kuril chain their territory ... But the Dutch didn’t enter into this senseless dispute, but the Japanese thought it was time for the Kurils to take under their jurisdiction.
Today, the Japanese authorities continue to systematically address this topic, although after the defeat in the Second World War, Japan could have completely lost its own statehood. And those territories that the Soviet Union "staked out" for themselves in 1945 year, can be called an extremely low price paid by Japan to Moscow. We should not forget that Japan itself in 1905, after the defeat in the war of the Russian Empire, had far greater plans for the Pacific territories than the USSR in 1945. And after all, after 1905, there was no mass hysteria in Russia about the authorities in Tokyo resolving the issue with Sakhalin and other territories. It turns out that the Japanese, smiling sweetly, work according to the classical scheme of double standards: “if we win, we demand everything and immediately categorically”, and “if we lose, then give us the territories you conquered back”. But such a policy does not fit in any way with objective reality ...
As another historical document, we should recall the so-called Shimoda treatise. This is a document that was signed between Russia and Japan in 1855. Under this treaty, Russia was entitled to the Kuril Islands, lying north of Iturup. At the same time, Sakhalin Island was to be developed together. After 20 years, the authorities of the Russian Empire decided to cede the Japanese Kurils in exchange for full ownership of Sakhalin. The transaction took place. But in 1905, the arrangements were terminated at the initiative of the Japanese side, which won the war with Russia. Instead of the previous agreement on friendship and cooperation, the notorious Portsmouth Treaty arose. According to this agreement, the southern part of Sakhalin, the Liaodun Peninsula, was ceded to the Japanese, and the Japanese fishermen were granted the right to free fishing along the Russian shores in the Sea of Okhotsk, the Bering Sea and the Sea of Japan. However, even this did not satisfy the Japanese, who, as winners, were also eager for the payment by Russia of a huge indemnity, the demilitarization of the Russian Far East, and full power on Sakhalin.
The Japanese aspirations were answered by the defeat of the Kwantung Army in August of 45, as a result of which Stalin simply decided to reimburse all his costs. By the way, there is information that after the victory of the USSR over Japan in the Second World War, the northern part of the island of Hokkaido could have departed under the wing of Moscow ... But the allies dissuaded Joseph Vissarionovich from this venture. Although at that time the USSR could well afford to take the opinion of the allies into account and do what it considers necessary, because, as they say, the winners are not judged.
In this connection, the claims of the Japanese side to Russia regarding the Southern Kuriles are completely incomprehensible. Well, dear you, our eastern neighbors, have lost, so be so kind, behave with dignity.
By the way, the Japanese authorities can be advised to try their hand at “returning” the territories, for example, on China - to start demanding the return of Ryozyun (Port Arthur), but you can give advice to demand from Washington to return Tokyo’s Mariana Islands under jurisdiction - well, "Southern territories". But after China and the United States on Torah’s outstretched hands present these lands, it will be possible to talk about the “northern territories”. In the meantime, it would be better to deal with Fukushima ...
Japan: from Russia - the northern territories, from the USA - the southern territories ...
- Alexei Volodin