China Ponders Why Medvedev Visited the Kuril Islands…

Sarychev Peak Eruption, Kuril Islands (2009)
Peak Eruption, Kuril Islands…

I love it when a reader sends me articles to check out. So check this out and find another view point on the Medvedev visiting the Kuril Islands issue…

Medvedev’s one and only visit makes strong statement

However, the question still remains, why did Medvedev choose to land now? The first reason has to do with Russia’s domestic politics. A presidential election is around the corner, and although it is generally speculated that Vladimir Putin will stage a comeback, the possible challengers to Medvedev are not yet clear. If Medvedev wants another term in office, this landing move will definitely be a plus for him. With regard to the Northern Territories, the whole Russian nation, commoners and elites alike, is strongly opposed to any concession to Japan. Most Russians believe that the occupation of these islands was materialized by the Yalta Agreement as the deserved compensation for Russia’s great sacrifice in fighting against Japan during the Second World War. According to a survey by the Russian Center for Public Opinion Surveys (VTsIOM), in 1994, 76 percent Russians were against any concession to Japan on the issue of the South Kuril Islands; in a similar survey conducted in 2009, however, the percentage rose to 89 percent.

From a realistic perspective, Medvedev’s landing serves as a warning for Japan to keep its distance from the Northern Territories. Since the end of the Second World War, Japan has always been keenly mindful of its Northern Territories. Over the past 60 years, the Japanese government has never stopped appointing officials to exercise nominal administration over these four islands. In 1983, Japan issued the “Special Measures for Promoting the Resolution of the Issue of Northern Territories,” by which the Japanese people could choose to change their household registration to the Northern Territories. From 1992, residents of Hokkaido and the Northern Territories could visit each other without applying for a visa. Up till now, as many as 10,000 Japanese citizens have stepped onto Kunashiri, Etorofu and Shikotan.

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The article is worth reading…


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