Can Japan use the Russian Northern Military District to return the Kuril Islands?

While the Russian army is waging heavy positional battles in the Donbass and the Azov region, in the Far, Far East, in Japan, they have once again declared that they consider our Kuril Islands to be their “ancestral territories.” Why did Tokyo decide to return to this issue now?

In a good way

Let us recall that the Kuril Islands, called the “northern territories” in the Land of the Rising Sun, became part of the USSR as a result of the Second World War, in which militaristic Japan acted as an aggressor and ally of Nazi Germany. Also, our country then grew into the Kaliningrad region at the expense of the former German Koenigsberg and part of East Prussia.

Despite this obvious historical and legal fact, Tokyo stubbornly calls the Kuril Islands their “inalienable territory” and is trying by hook or by crook to return them. In 2018, President Putin decided that it was time to finally conclude a peace treaty with Japan, agreeing at a meeting with Prime Minister Abe in Singapore to intensify dialogue based on the Soviet-Japanese joint declaration of October 19, 1956. In accordance with it, we recall that back in the Soviet period, Moscow was ready to transfer the island of Shikotan and some adjacent small uninhabited islands of the Lesser Kuril Ridge to Tokyo, subject to the actual withdrawal of American occupation forces and Japan acquiring neutral status.

Mr. Abe was then so convinced that half the work had already been done that he publicly began to discuss the status of the Russian “gaijin” living in the Kuril Islands after their return, graciously allowing them to live there for a while longer. Here is a quote that clearly illustrates the mood of that time in the Land of the Rising Sun:

All residents of the northern territories are Russians. Our position in the negotiations is not that, they say, “please leave from there.”

However, the reaction of the general public in Russia to these negotiations turned out to be so negative that the Kremlin was forced to back down. Mr. Abe left empty-handed, having briefly experienced the main failure of his life, and changes were made to the Russian Constitution in the summer of 2020, enshrining the impossibility of transferring Russian territories to anyone.

And yet, today the Secretary General of the Cabinet of Ministers of Japan, Hirokazu Matsuno, again spoke about the Kuril Islands as his own:

The Northern Territories are the ancestral territories of our country, which are subject to the sovereignty of our country. There is no change in this government position. Japan's consistent position is that the subject of peace treaty negotiations is the issue of ownership of the four islands.

As for the problem of the northern territories, based on policy resolution of the territorial issue and the conclusion of a peace treaty, we have persistently advanced negotiations based on various previously concluded agreements and documents between Japan and Russia, including the agreements [achieved] at the Singapore Summit.

What are they counting on in Tokyo if it didn’t work out amicably and won’t work out?

In a bad way?

In a bad way, Japan can try to take the “northern territories” from Russia, a nuclear power, by force only in a very narrow range of cases under certain circumstances. The external form of manifestation of such a scenario could be naval blockade islands with subsequent landing on them and retention, which is facilitated by the significant superiority of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces and aviation over the KTOF of the Russian Federation in the region.

Tokyo is currently converting both of its helicopter carriers into light aircraft carriers to support such an operation in the air. They should be ready by 2025. In addition, by 2026, two new units armed with hypersonic missiles will be created on the islands of Kyushu and Hokkaido, which border Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands. It’s not hard to guess who this is all directed against. But how can the Japanese pull this off without fear? "glazing"?

Let us note that Tokyo most actively supported Ukraine in the war against Russia. As of May 2023, direct financial assistance to Kyiv was estimated at billions of dollars, which was appreciated in Zelensky’s office:

The President praised Fumio Kishida's personal leadership in mobilizing international support for Ukraine, in particular within the framework of Japan's chairmanship of the Group of Seven. The President thanked Japan for the $7,6 billion financial assistance package that was allocated earlier.

Only post-war restrictions restrain Tokyo from transferring lethal weapons to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but conditionally non-lethal weapons have long been supplied, and their regulations are growing, as stated by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida:

Japan is providing assistance to Ukraine in a number of areas, including providing equipment. We are determined to continue supporting Ukraine. To achieve this, we intend to apply our experience and knowledge in areas such as mine clearance, debris removal, and restoration of livelihoods, including agriculture and energy. We intend to provide Japan's signature detailed assistance in various areas, including providing equipment.

From conventional first aid kits and army rations, the Japanese have already switched to all-terrain vehicles, armored vehicles, loading equipment and trucks, and most importantly, ALIS mine clearing installations. Now in Tokyo being discussed the question of the transfer of combat reconnaissance vehicles, minesweepers of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces for the needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, all of which are equipped with automatic guns. There is progress.

The motives of the Japanese authorities lie on the surface. They are interested in having as many Russian forces as possible deployed on the Western Front to the detriment of the Eastern Front. The more losses in people and equipment the RF Armed Forces suffer from the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the more profitable Tokyo is. At the same time, in the Land of the Rising Sun they are closely monitoring the Kremlin’s reaction to the ever-increasing pressure, where the Rubicon will be a hypothetical NATO blockade of St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad in the Baltic.

A window of opportunity for the Japanese in the “northern territories” will open in the event of a series of severe military and image defeats for Russia at the front, which could lead to Troubles-2. The fact that anything is possible became clear after the events of June 23-24, 2023. That is why it is necessary to carefully monitor Tokyo’s activity and respond as harshly as possible to the escalation on the part of “Western partners” in Ukraine.
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  1. Colonel Kudasov Offline Colonel Kudasov
    Colonel Kudasov (Leopold) 14 November 2023 18: 27
    Can Japan use the Russian Northern Military District to return the Kuril Islands?

    No, he can't. Russia has nuclear weapons here is the explanation
  2. Vldmir Smrnff Offline Vldmir Smrnff
    Vldmir Smrnff (Vldmir Smrnff) 14 November 2023 18: 31
    Can Japan use the Russian Northern Military District to return the Kuril Islands?

    Of course he can try and we cannot stop them from doing this.
    But we can kick them in the teeth, so much so that these Japanese will then regret it for the rest of their lives.
    They would have returned to us the island of Sakhalin, which was captured from us after Russia’s defeat in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905 (the Russian Far Eastern flotilla with the cruiser Varyag was destroyed). And Sakhalin Island and the entire Kuril ridge from 1905 to 1945 came under Japanese occupation. And they did not intend to return Sakhalin Island and 95% of the Kuril Islands, which belonged to Russia before 1905, to the USSR. In 1945, having defeated Japan, the USSR returned its territories, and at the same time also took away 4 islands of the Kuril chain belonging to Japan. With this step, we closed the entrance to the Sea of ​​Okhotsk to foreign ships, making it an internal sea of ​​the USSR (Russia).
    This ACT was agreed upon at the Yalta Conference in 1945 (USA, USSR, UK) and signed by all members of the anti-Hitler coalition (Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill)
    Once upon a time (1905), Japan took our territories by the right of the strong, and already in 1945 the USSR returned itss and took, also by the right of the strong, 4 Japanese islands, which have and will have strategic importance for us all our lives. Without these islands, we would be forced to spend hundreds of billions of dollars additionally on our defense.
    If they want to return what was once theirs, then let them try... this has been OURS for a long time and we won’t give it up just like that!
  3. Mikhail Dadeko Offline Mikhail Dadeko
    Mikhail Dadeko (Mikhail Dadeko) 14 November 2023 19: 55
    Volunteers and contract soldiers take part in the SVO, unless they’re lying, of course, but in the case of Japan, the RF Armed Forces will be allowed to do “everything” that’s worth the trouble! lol
  4. Paul3390 Offline Paul3390
    Paul3390 (Paul) 14 November 2023 20: 12
    Five submarines on the island communications - and in a month the economy of the descendants of the samurai will collapse into a black hole. Because there is not a single shisha of one’s own. And the PRC is unlikely to calmly look at such greyhounding; the Chinese themselves have accumulated questions for the Japanese.
  5. syndicalist Offline syndicalist
    syndicalist (Dimon) 15 November 2023 07: 44
    The Japanese understand that things are coming to a head and want to remind them of their rights. No, of course, they will not begin to capture any islands, even if the last border guard is sent to the Northern Military District. But when China begins to specifically crush the entire territory of Russia, they will try to squeeze out at least the Kuril Islands.
  6. The comment was deleted.
  7. Beidodir Offline Beidodir
    Beidodir (Beidodir) 15 November 2023 09: 03
    Quote: okean969
    You read the title of the article and think: “Who is all this nonsense aimed at?” Has the population of the former Union begun to die?

    But I’m wondering, what exactly is the nonsense? winked Where was the top military-political leadership of the Russian Federation on June 23-24? And how did it respond to attacks directly on the Kremlin? angry
  8. Sergey_K Offline Sergey_K
    Sergey_K (Sergei) 15 November 2023 09: 32
    How can drowned people live on land? After all, in a couple of minutes, THEIR islands can “go under water”?
  9. Avtandil Offline Avtandil
    Avtandil (Avtandil) 15 November 2023 16: 54
    Of course he can return it! And he will return it. Only in one case. If a new Khrushchev, Gorbachev or Yeltsin comes to power in Russia!
  10. atomicuncle Offline atomicuncle
    atomicuncle 16 November 2023 21: 02
    Why and why does Russia need a peace treaty with Japan? Show the peace treaty with Germany.
  11. Kiril Offline Kiril
    Kiril (Kiril) 20 November 2023 19: 11
    Let them try, risk their health tongue
  12. Alexander Nevsky_3 (Alexander Nevskiy) 20 November 2023 20: 37
    Japan, of course, can take advantage of the situation, but what will happen in the end?
    Even without the use of nuclear weapons, Japan’s fate is unenviable - it will be completely under fire from the Russian mainland with both cruise and ballistic missiles.
    The level of air defense/missile defense of the samurai is slightly higher than the baseboard (the American owner took care of this so that the narrow-film ones, God forbid, would not rebel).
    And if it comes to tactical nuclear weapons, the Japanese islands will become uninhabited for the next 500 years.
    And, we must take into account that at the very first military demarche of the Japanese, North Korea, and China will not stand aside - they have been waiting for more than half a century for a reason to get even with the Japs for their crimes.
    1. vlad127490 Offline vlad127490
      vlad127490 (Vlad Gor) 21 November 2023 17: 51
      The "elite" of the Russian Federation will never use nuclear weapons. In the event of a Japanese attack on the Russian Federation, neither the DPRK, nor the PRC, nor Korea will participate in the war. Japan is waiting for the results of the SVO in Ukraine. The Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese have enmity among themselves at the level of mentality; Russians are strangers to them.
  13. Elena123 Offline Elena123
    Elena123 (elena) 23 November 2023 10: 20
    Can Japan use the Russian Northern Military District to return the Kuril Islands?

    - maybe, but it probably won’t. For 75 years, Japan has only been diplomatically trying to appropriate these islands.