America forced Tokyo to give up Kuril Islands, yet now it labels its Russian residents as Japanese, ex-diplomat tells RT
The US’ decision to label residents of the disputed Kuril Islands as Japanese is a “very strange and irregular” move, former Australian diplomat Gregory Clark has told RT, adding it shows “rampant revisionism” on the US’ part.
The bizarre move by US officials first caught the eye of Japanese media last week. It transpired that Russian citizens born on the islands of Habomai, Shikotan, Kunashir, and Iturup were considered Japanese by the US immigration authorities for the purpose of drawing green cards.
The sneaky designation sparked an angry reaction in Moscow, with Russian diplomats stressing that the country’s sovereignty over the four islands is not the subject of any dispute.
“Do you need more proof that the US is a revisionist power?” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “In 1945, the Kuril Islands were transferred to the Soviet Union. But today the State Department is seeking to reopen the settlement of the Second World War and encouraging territorial revanchism.”
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Such a designation certainly amounts to “rampant revisionism” and meddling in affairs between Moscow and Tokyo, believes former Australian diplomat Gregory Clark, a specialist in international relations and security.
It’s rampant revisionism, because what happened in 1951 is very interesting. At the time, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshida Shigeru tried very hard to get America to agree that they should not have to give up all the islands, that they should be allowed to retain some of them – in particular, ones that are now being disputed. And America quite clearly said, no, there could be no re-negotiation.
Moreover, it looks like a “very irregular, very strange” move on Washington’s part, given its own role in the secession of the disputed islands from Japan in the aftermath of World War II.
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“It was America who forced Japan to give up these islands in the peace treaty with Japan in 1951,” Clark told RT, adding that the loss of the islands by Tokyo received wide international recognition – regardless of the bilateral Russia-Japan relations. The two nations still lack a proper peace treaty.
“It was not just America, but 50 other countries… who all agreed in 1951, in the San Francisco peace treaty, that Japan would give up all right and claim to the Kuril Islands. Absolutely no ambiguity.”
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Source:RT World News