Russian Kuril Islands
The State Duma held a round table "Russian-Japanese relations today: the territorial factor" on March 26 where a book called "Russian Kurils: Past and Present" was presented to the public.
Alexei Plotnikov, doctor of historical sciences, member of the advisory board of the State Duma Security, the author, presented the book's valuable cartographic material that proves cogency of Russian sovereignty over the Kuril Islands. For example, a map dating 1775-1780 is shown, signed by Sawwa Zubov, the main "commander of Kamchatka", compiled by Dutch sources. The territory of Japan is limited to the islands of Honshu and by a small part of the island of Hokkaido. A document dating 1897, compiled by the members of naval authorities and experts from Japan, United Kingdom, where the Southern Kurils are not yet recognized as a separate geographic area. Moreover, application map to the Memorandum of the commander of the Allied Forces General Douglas MacArthur on 29 January 1946 is a document of US recognition of Kurils affiliation to USSR.
Anatoly Koshkin, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies, author of the book, clearly and unequivocally brought the historical background of the existing territorial realities around the Kuril Islands: "After the actual failure of Japan to carry out the compromise agreements of 1956 and the conclusion of a military agreement with the United States instead of a peace treaty with the Soviet Union, directly aimed against the Soviet Union and China, the Soviet Union had well-founded reasons to say that as long as foreign troops will be in Japan, it would be difficult for Moscow to return to the 1956 agreements. " According to experts, the first politician who "sent those islands Japan's way, was the notorious Mikhail Gorbachev," who, by doing so, opened the "Pandora's box".
Vadim Gaponenko, the representative of the Maritime State University named after Admiral G.Nevelskiy, drew attention to the fact that many islands and rocks Kuril chain (451 sites total) were never described and mapped. In his view, the residents' of the Sakhalin area initiative on description and the naming of geographic features is designed to solve this problem. He stressed the need to ensure that these new names entered the international scientific and seagoing traffic rulings. In addition, Gaponenko believes that Russian names are due to be used by representatives of the international scientific community and foreign sailors, and in this connection it is very important that the next edition of books about the Kuril Islands are to be translated into English.
On the diplomatic side of the issue, spoke Alexander Ilishev-Vvedenskii, head of the department of political issues in relations with Japan of the Third Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry. He noticed that the 1956 Declaration was ratified by the parliaments of the two countries, which implies that its provisions are nothing less than international obligations of Russia and Japan.
Victor Pavlyatenko, historical sciences candidate, called on to work with the Japanese public. He also stressed that "two years ago, the Japanese Foreign Ministry official said the internationalization of the problem of territorial claims to Russia." In his opinion, it's Japan that tries to claim Russian territory.
Other roundtable participants also drew attention to the need to work with the international community, the necessity of translating of the book into other languages, as well as providing targeted socio-economic support to the region and its popularization in Russia itself.
So the discussions once again convincingly proved the validity of the Russian position in territorial disputes with Japan, noting that much of the public affairs depends on the efforts of individuals.