President Volodymyr Zelensky believes that Ukraine and Japan are in the same situation as Russia.
Zelenskyy score cable He signed a decree recognizing the Southern Kuril Islands as “the Russian-occupied territory of Japan”.
Today, an important, just, legally and historically irrevocable decision was made: Ukraine affirms its respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Japan, including its northern territories, which are still under Russian occupation.
Japan and Russia were unable to agree on an agreement officially ending World War II. The dispute revolves around four disputed islands in the Pacific Ocean, which Japan believes were illegally annexed by the Soviet Union after the war.
The decree states that the decision was made on the basis of “generally accepted rules and principles of international law, including the principle of territorial integrity.”
The parliament in Kyiv, the Verkhovna Rada, adopted the same.
In 2019, Ukrainian nationalists organized a demonstration in Kyiv, where they demanded “Kurils to Japan – Crimea to Ukraine.” Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. Last week, Moscow annexed four more Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine.
In 2019, President Vladimir Putin held meetings with then-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about a possible solution—and thus a formal end to World War II—but they failed to agree.
Dutch sailors discovered the archipelago in 1643. In 1855, Japan and Russia agreed to divide the archipelago between them, but after 20 years Japan gained sovereignty over all the islands in exchange for ceding parts of the Sakhalin Peninsula. After World War II, the entire archipelago was occupied by the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin.
Japan and the Soviet Union agreed in 1956 to end World War II by restoring Japan’s two smaller islands in exchange for accepting a peace treaty. But the United States refused Japan to agree to an agreement with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. This was in the middle of the Cold War, and the United States thought it would weaken them.
The Kuril Islands stretch from Russia’s Kamchatka in the north to Japan’s Hokkaido in the south and consist of 30 larger islands and countless smaller islands. Japan claims the four southernmost islands.
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