- CNTV English - CCTV News

News Analysis: Russia, Japan eye cooperation on disputed islands despite conflicting claims

02-12-2011 10:44 BJT

MOSCOW, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- Russian and Japanese foreign ministers said Friday that their countries are keen to boost cooperation, even on the Pacific island chain claimed by both sides.

"Russia and Japan could consider business cooperation on the islands at a high level, if no harm is done to Japan's position from the point of view of the law," Japan's Seiji Maehara said during a visit here, while stressing that the islands are Japan's historic territories

Russia, for its part, may let the Japanese side participate more actively in developing the islands, Professor Yakov Berger of the Far East Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences told Xinhua.

"Russia perhaps will even go as far as to declare the islands a special economic zone, or to make them more accessible for Japanese business," he added.

However, no signs were indicating that the dispute over the sovereignty over the four Pacific islands, called the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan, was to end soon.

"Tokyo must have no illusion that economic cooperation is a means to sneak into these territories politically," the professor said.

He stressed that even though Russia may try to integrate the Southern Kurils into regional and international cooperation systems, Moscow will always treat the islands' future as "internal business."


The Kuril Islands, including the disputed Southern Kuril islands, are a "very sensitive" region for Russia, especially in terms of their geopolitical significance, Berger said.

"Moscow tries to make it 100 percent clear for Tokyo that the Kurils are Russian territory, and Japan ought to abandon any expectation that Moscow will ever change its position," he said.

Berger noted that after a period "when Moscow nearly has forgotten the existence of the Kurils," Russia is paying more and more attention to the strategic area.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in November suddenly visited one of the four disputed isles, becoming the first Russian leader to travel there.He also stressed the importance of developing the region.

In February, Medvedev again called on officials to keep visiting the Southern Kuril islands and vowed to boost development in this remote region.

On Wednesday, Medvedev even ordered the deployment of sufficient weaponry to secure the disputed islands.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program