Abe did not comment on the idea of renting Habomai and Shikotan

© RIA Novosti / Alexander Wolfparade in photobacteria Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. Archival photoAbe did not comment on the idea of renting Habomai and Shikotan© RIA Novosti / Alexander Wolfparade the image Bank

The Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe in the debate in Parliament declined to comment on the idea of the transfer of two South Kuril Islands to rent while maintaining the sovereignty of Russia, stating that he intends, together with the Russian President to find an acceptable for both sides solution.

«To solve the territorial issue and then sign a peace Treaty — this is the basic position of the government, and change is not here. But in a joint document — the Tokyo Declaration of 1993, the Irkutsk Declaration of 2001 States that the Joint Declaration of 1956 is the only recognized and ratified by both parties the document. In the 9th article of the Declaration reads: «to Continue negotiations on a peace Treaty and after its conclusion to transfer to Japan the Habomai and Shikotan». The Japanese government believes that the subject of discussion for the signing of the peace agreement is the issue of ownership of the four Islands. Based on this I will continue to negotiate with President Putin to find a solution acceptable to both parties,» Abe said.

He stressed that he did not intend to comment on any statements of experts on this topic, including the statements made in the Russian media the suggestion by one of the Russian experts that Russia can transfer to Japan the Habomai and Shikotan on loan, while retaining his sovereignty over them.

«I’m not going to comment on every statement due to the fact that we continue the negotiation process. There are various expert opinions and with the Japanese and the Russian sides, but I think it inappropriate to comment on each of them, what the island will include, what is not. And if I start now here to respond to the statements, then they will once again be followed by a new utterance, it will be a vicious circle. This we discuss in the negotiation process. For me negotiating partner one-the only — President Putin,» — said Abe.

Relations between Russia and Japan for many years overshadows the absence of a peace Treaty. Japan claims the Islands of Kunashir, Shikotan, Iturup and Habomai, referring to bilateral Treatise on trade and borders of 1855. In 1956 the USSR and Japan signed a Joint Declaration in which Moscow has agreed to consider the possibility of transfer of Japan of the Habomai and Shikotan after the conclusion of a peace Treaty, and the fate of Kunashir and Iturup are not affected. The USSR hoped that the Joint Declaration will put an end to the dispute, Japan believed the document only part of the solution, not abandoning claims to all the Islands. Later the negotiations failed, the peace Treaty after the Second world war and was not signed. Moscow’s position is that the Islands became part of the Soviet Union at the end of the Second world war and the Russian sovereignty over them cannot be questioned.

In Singapore on 14 September this year, hosted a summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. Following the meeting, the Japanese Prime Minister said that the sides agreed to accelerate negotiations on a peace Treaty on the basis of Joint Soviet-Japanese Declaration of 1956.

The Declaration recorded the commitment of the parties to conclude a peace Treaty, after which the Soviet Union agreed to transfer to Japan the Habomai and Shikotan. The document was ratified by both parties, but then Japan renounced its implementation, insisting on the return of the four Islands — Kunashir, Iturup, Shikotan and Habomai as the condition for concluding a peace Treaty. It still remained the official position of Japan.