Japanese Territory

March 1, 2001

Northern Territories

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


1. Article 2 of the Treaty for the Exchange of Sakhalin for the Kurile Islands (1875)

Article 2

In exchange for the cession to Russia of the rights on the island of Karafuto (Sakhalin) stipulated in the first article, His Majesty the Emperor of All the Russias, for Himself and for His descendants, cedes to His Majesty the Emperor of Japan the group of the islands, called Kurile which He possesses at present, together with all the rights of sovereignty appertaining to this possession, so that henceforth all the Kurile Islands shall belong to the Empire of Japan and the boundary between the Empires of Japan and Russia in these areas shall pass through the Strait between Cape Lopatka of the Peninsula of Kamchatka and the island of Shumushu. The Kurile Islands comprises the following eighteen islands: 1)Shumushu, 2) Araido, 3) Paramushiru, 4) Makanrushi, 5) Onekotan, 6) Harimukotan, 7) Ekaruma, 8) Shasukotan, 9) Mushiru, 10) Raikoke, 11) Matsua, 12) Rasutsua, 13) the islets of Suredonewa and Ushishiru, 14) Ketoi, 15) Shimushiru, 16) Buroton, 17) the islets of Cherupoi and Brat Cherupoefu and 18) Uruppu.

(Signed in Saint Petersburg on May 7, 1875. Ratified on August 22, 1875. Instruments of ratification were exchanged on August 22, 1875 in Tokyo.)

2. Article 18 of the Treaty on Commerce and Navigation between Japan and Russia, and Declaration (1895)

Article 18

This treaty, from the date of its entry into force, shall replace the following documents: the Treaty of Commerce, Navigation and Delimitation signed on the 21st day of the 12th moon of the first year of Ansei, which coincides with January 26, 1855; the Treaty of Friendship and Commerce, signed on the 11th day of the seventh moon of the fifth year of Ansei, which coincides with August 7, 1858; the convention signed on the 28th day of the 11th moon of the third year of Keio, which coincides with December 11, 1867, and all additional agreements attached to the above; and from that same date the noted treaties, agreements and conventions shall be null and void. Consequently, the jurisdiction which Russian courts exercised in Japan, and the special advantage, privileges and exceptions, which Russians used to enjoy until then as part of this jurisdiction, shall be terminated and abolished completely without special notice. The rights under this jurisdiction shall be, from its entry into force, transferred to the Japanese judiciary and shall be exercised by it.

Signed in St. Petersburg


The parties, who have signed below, declare that Article 18 of the treaty signed on this date does not relate either to the treaty signed on April 25 (May 7), 1875 between His Majesty the Japanese Emperor and His Majesty the All Russian Emperor, or to the appendix, signed at Tokyo on August 10 (22) of the same year. The said treaty and article still remain in force.

St. Petersburg, June 8 (May 27) 1895

3. Article 9 of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty (1905)

Article 9

The Imperial Russian Government shall cede to the Imperial Government of Japan, in perpetuity and full sovereignty, the southern portion of the island of Sakhalin, and all the islands adjacent thereto, as well as all the public works and properties there situated. The fiftieth degree of north latitude shall be adopted as the northern boundary of the ceded territory.

(Signed at Portsmouth (USA) on September 5, 1905. Ratified on October 14, 1905. The exchange of instruments of ratification took place in Washington on November 25, 1905)

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