The Japanese Foreign Ministry Stated That Its Position On The Kurils And The Peace Treaty With Russia Remains Unchanged
Japan's position on the southern part of the Kuril Islands and the Peace Treaty with Russia remains unchanged, despite the addition of language on this issue in the annual report on diplomacy "Bluebook." This was stated on Friday at a press conference in Tokyo by Japanese foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.
Earlier this week, Motegi presented the "Bluebook" for 2020 to the Cabinet, its official publication is scheduled for autumn. It states that "the Northern territories are Islands that are subject to Japanese sovereignty". In the 2019 version, the phrase about belonging was omitted, although in 2018 it was also included in the section concerning Russia.
"With regard to the issue of the "Northern territories" (as the Russian southern Kuril Islands are called in Japan) and regarding the continuation of negotiations on the Peace Treaty, there are no changes in our position," he said in response to a request from journalists to comment on whether the change in wording in the report is related to the change in Japan's position on this issue.
"Japan adheres to the basic position that we intend to continue persistent negotiations to resolve the territorial issue and sign a peace Treaty. We have already discussed this issue several times with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Of course, we also have differences in approaches, but together we proceed from the agreement between our dealers on the need to negotiate on the basis of the Joint Declaration of 1956," the Minister added.
Answering a question from journalists about the reaction of the Russian side to the change in the wording of the annual report on diplomacy "Bluebook", Motegi stressed that its purpose is to provide an opportunity to get acquainted with the diplomatic course of Japan as a whole, and the content takes into account changes in the international situation. "If we take the statue of David by Michelangelo, I think that it has a big head, and the left knee looks small. However, the main question is not whether the statue has a small knee and a large head, but that the entire work of the genius of Michelangelo looks very realistic, " the Minister said, pointing out that the report should be considered as a single document on the principles of the country's foreign policy.
As stated on May 21 at a briefing, the official representative of the Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova, Japan's inclusion in the report of claims to the southern part of the Kuril Islands contradicts the task set at the highest level to improve bilateral relations with Russia. She also recalled that the legal sovereignty over all the Kuril Islands belongs to the Russian Federation after the Second world war, in accordance with international legal documents, including the UN Charter, and is indisputable.