August 18 , 2017 – Fort Russ News –
The Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia, Igor Morhulov and Deputy Foreign Minister of Japan, Takeo Akiba held the second round of Russian-Japanese consultations on the issues of establishing joint economic activity in the southern Kuril Islands.
“The parties discussed the list of possible projects of mutually beneficial cooperation within the framework of joint economic activities,” says the Russian Foreign Ministry.
In February 2017 the Japanese Foreign Minister, Fumio Kishida, at the first meeting, named the main areas of cooperation: fishing, tourism, health and ecology.
Tokyo believes that joint economic activity in the southern Kurils will be a step forward for concluding a peace treaty between the two countries – one of the main problems in Russian – Japanese relations today.
Japan hopes that the peace treaty of sorts – will resolve the ongoing territorial problem. Japan claims that the islands of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai are Japanese territory, referring to the bilateral Treatise on Trade and Borders of 1855. The return of the islands of Tokyo was a condition for concluding a peace treaty with Russia, which, after the end of World War II, was never signed.
Moscow’s position is that the southern Kurils were part of the USSR following the Second World War, and Russia’s sovereignty over them, which has a corresponding international legal formulation, is not under any question.