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Kuril Islands belong to Japan – Zelenskyy

Friday, 7 October 2022, 21:42
Kuril Islands belong to Japan – Zelenskyy


President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has signed a decree recognising Japan’s sovereignty over its Northern Territories (the southern part of the Kuril Islands) that are temporarily occupied by Russia. 

Source: Zelenskyy’s evening speech on 7 October; Presidential Decree No. 692/2022


Quote: "An important decision was made today. It’s fair. Legally perfect. Historical. 

Ukraine confirmed its respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Japan, including its Northern Territories, which are still under Russian occupation.

Today, I signed a decree to this effect. There is a corresponding statement of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. And we call on everyone in the world to make similar decisions."


Details: According to the Zelenskyy’s Decree, Ukraine confirms its respect "for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Japan, including its Northern Territories, which are still under Russian occupation."

The President said that Russia has no right to claim these territories, and "everyone in the world knows it well"; therefore, "we must take action at last" and "de-occupy all the lands that the Russian occupiers are trying to keep for themselves".

Zelenskyy is convinced that "only in this way can we return full force to international law".

"With this war against Ukraine… Russia has put itself in the conditions – and it is now only a matter of time – for the real liberation of everything that once was seized and is now under the control of the Kremlin.

The aggressor must lose. So be it. So that such wars do not happen again and that peace will really be long-term. Nothing should be left for the invaders," Zelenskyy summed up. 

For information: A dispute about the southern Kuril Islands between Russia and Japan has not been resolved since the end of World War II. 

After the war, all the Kuril Islands were "included" in the USSR; however, Japan is appealing against considering the islands of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Khabomai group to be part of Russia, and views them as an occupied part of Japan. The total area of those islands is 5,000 square kilometres; the total area of the disputed territory is approximately 200,000 square kilometres.


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