The Russian authorities are ready to hand over two disputed Islands of Shikotan and Habomai of the Kuril archipelago to Japan. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the handover of the two Islands is possible only after Japan’s recognition of the results of the Second World War and the conclusion of a peace treaty, report Russian state TV channels.
Lavrov also added that Russia is a legal successor of the USSR and therefore, recognizes the Declaration of 1956, according to which the country is ready to return the two Kuril Islands only after the conclusion of a peace treaty between the parties.
“Now it all comes down to the reluctance of our Japanese colleagues to recognize the results of the Second World War, thereby preventing the signing of a peace treaty. I do not think that it is a dead-end situation,” Lavrov said.
After the Second World War, a Peace Treaty between the USSR and Japan was never signed. In 1956, the two countries signed a Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War, according to which the USSR agreed to reconsider the ownership of some of the southern Kuril Islands.
Japan still insists on the return of the southern Kuril Islands — Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan, and Habomai. Russia, as the successor of the USSR, does not agree with this.
Earlier, it was reported, that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe is considering the possibility of concluding a peace treaty with the Russian Federation if Russia will give Japan two of the four disputed Kuril Islands — Habomai and Shikotan.
On August 12, last year, Putin proposed the Japanese Prime Minister to conclude a peace treaty without preconditions before the end of 2018, and then to resolve “controversial issues.” Japan refused this proposal.