April 1, 2002
Northern Territories Issue Q&A
What are the circumstances of the negotiations regarding the Northern Territories issue? How will the negotiations proceed in the future?
- Q1It was recently reported that although Japan has conducted the so-called "parallel consultation," which divides the Northern Territories issue into the discussion regarding Habomai and Shikotan on the one hand and the discussion of Kunashiri and Etorofu on the other, the Russian side has rejected this approach. What are the circumstances of the negotiations? Also, how will the negotiations proceed in the future?
- In Japan-Russia relations, in order to make simultaneous progress in the three issues of concluding a peace treaty, cooperation in economic areas and cooperation on the international stage, efforts are made to advance relations in a broad range of areas. Concerning the conclusion of a peace treaty, Japan is working vigorously in negotiations based upon the consistent policy of concluding a peace treaty through the resolution of issues concerning the attribution of the four Northern Islands.
- On the occasion of the Irkutsk Summit Meeting in March 2001, the then-Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori made the proposal of conducting discussions regarding Habomai and Shikotan on the one hand and the attribution of Kunashiri and Etorofu on the other, in simultaneous and parallel ways to President Vladimir Putin, and in October 2001, at the Japan-Russia Summit Meeting in Shanghai, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and President Putin largely reached agreement.
- On the other hand, since the Summit Meeting in Shanghai to date, no clear agreement has been reached on the format of Japan-Russia consultations. What is first and foremost of importance, however, is not the format of the consultations, but their content. The Russian side has stated that it is prepared to discuss all matters relating to this issue. The Government of Japan is committed to persistently undertake negotiations with Russia.