Japanese Territory
 

March 1, 2001

Northern Territories

New Edition of the Joint Compendium of Documents on the History of Territorial Issue between Japan and Russia

5. NOTE VERBALE
presented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
regarding the framework, streamlined to the maximum extent possible,
for visits to the islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan and Habomai
by Japanese nationals who are former residents
and members of their families

(Provisional Translation)

2 September 1999

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan presents its compliments to the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Japan and has the honor to confirm that it has received from the said Embassy the Note Verbale No. 138 of 2 September 1999, which states the following:

"The Embassy of the Russian Federation in Japan presents its compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, and has the honor to inform that the Russian Federation, referring to Part I, Clause 2 of the Moscow Declaration on Establishing a Creative Partnership between the Russian Federation and Japan, signed by President of the Russian Federation B.N. Yeltsin and Prime Minister of Japan Keizo Obuchi on 13 November 1998, in regarding to the agreement in principle, stipulated in the said clause, concerning the implementation of the so-called free visits, streamlined to the maximum extent possible, to the islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan and Habomai (hereinafter referred to as "the Islands") by Japanese nationals who are former residents and members of their families, and noting the existing system and procedures for visits to the Islands by Japanese citizens and visits by the residents of the Islands to regions of Japan provided in the Correspondence of 14 October 1991 between the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (hereinafter referred to as "the Correspondence"), and the Note Verbale of 20 April 1993 exchanged between the Embassy of Japan in the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (hereinafter referred to as "the exchanged Note Verbale"), is prepared to take necessary measures in accordance with the procedures attached to this Note Verbale to ensure that visits to the Islands by Japanese nationals who are former residents and members of their families, are implemented by framework of visits, streamlined to the maximum extent possible.

1. (1) Visits to the Islands will be carried out by groups without passports or visas, based on identification materials and inserts for multiple visits (hereinafter referred to as "IDs" and "inserts"), and the required attachments (visiting group name list and visit itinerary). Visiting groups may be accompanied by central or local authorities (no more than two people) and doctors and interpreters.

(2) The program that stipulates the basic provision regarding group visits will be adjusted annually at the conference stipulated in Part 2. Clause (2) of the Correspondence.

The program that stipulates details regarding individual visits will be determined in accordance with Part 2. Clause (2) of the Correspondence.

2. This framework will be implemented in accordance with the following conditions:

(1) This framework does not in any way exert influence on the framework of visits to the Islands provided in the Correspondence and the exchanged Note Verbale, and the framework of visits to gravesites provided in the mutually appropriate Note Verbale of 2 July 1986.

(2) Visits within this framework should not be deemed as to prejudice the legal positions of either side regarding any issue pertaining to such visits.

3. The Government of the Russian Federation states that it is prepared to hold discussion with the Government of Japan regarding any issue arising in regard to the application of this framework, including the circumstance of implementing this framework and possibility for its improvement.

Should the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, representing the Government of Japan, affirm its consent to the above-mentioned contents, this Note Verbale and a reply to this Note Verbale from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan with contents identical to those of this Note Verbale will constitute a mutual understanding between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of Japan regarding the implementation of cooperation under the conditions described in this Note Verbale.

The Embassy of the Russian Federation avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan the assurances of its highest consideration."

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, representing the Government of Japan, has the honor to inform its consent through this Note Verbale to the taking of the necessary measures described in the Note Verbale from the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Japan.

Procedures Attached to the Note Verbale No. 138 of 2 September 1999
from the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Japan

Procedures for visits to the Islands by Japanese nationals
who are former residents and members of their families

I. General Provisions

1. Japanese nationals who are former residents and members of their families means Japanese nationals and their spouses and children, who resided on the Islands during the period until the end of 1945.

2. The Japanese side will submit to the Russian side each year through diplomatic channels a list of the names (including former domiciles on the Islands) of Japanese nationals who are former residents and members of their families.

3. Visits will be carried out, based on IDs, inserts and the required attachments (visiting group name list and visit itinerary).

4. The Government of Japan will prepare IDs. The form and the items to be included on them will be agreed upon with the Russian side separately.

5. Inserts for multiple visits will be issued by the appropriate organization in Japan, after printing the items provided in Clause 3. of the exchanged Note Verbale.

II. Advance Procedures

1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan will inform the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Japan via a Note Verbale no less than, in principle, two weeks prior to the scheduled visit start date, regarding the items provided in Part 1., Clause (1) of the exchanged Note Verbale and the pass point for entry and exit procedures.

2. The Embassy of the Russian Federation in Japan will inform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan via a Note Verbale , regarding the advisability of reception of participants in the visiting groups indicated in the Note Verbale.

III. Entry and Exit Procedures.

1. The leader of the visiting group will carry the list of names of the members comprising the visiting group, and will hand it to the Russian side upon the visiting group's arrival at the pass point.

The members comprising the visiting group will carry IDs and inserts.

2. The Russian side will make an appropriate entry on the inserts attached to the IDs at the items of entry into and exit from the pass point by the visiting group.

IDs valid for multiple visits will be returned along with their inserts to those carrying such IDs.