Delegation of Japanese business leaders and officials to visit disputed Kuril Islands

Delegation of Japanese business leaders and officials to visit disputed Kuril Islands

Today, a delegation of Japanese officials and business executives will travel to the disputed Southern Kuril Islands in the Pacific

kuril islands delegation

Photo: Government of Sakhalinni

Today, a delegation of Japanese officials and business executives will travel to the disputed Southern Kuril Islands in the Pacific to further explore diplomatic solutions to the 70-year debate between the two countries.

Delegates will explore “joint projects”––diplomatic initiatives toward resolving the dispute that have centred around facilitating economic movement between the three territories involved: Russia, Japan and the Kurils. Today, a special advisor to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Eiichi Hasegawa, will lead the Japanese delegation in negotiations over seafood cultivation, tourism, agriculture, energy and hard waste disposal.

Despite the Japanese initiative, the geopolitical situation in Northeast Asia still favours Russia. Thanks to a variety of factors—like tense Sino-Japanese relations and the Trump Administration’s ambivalent views on the future of the US-Japanese alliance—Russia has been emboldened in the region. Such confidence will consequentially transfer to the Kuril dispute to the detriment of Japan, making a solution to the dispute unlikely for the foreseeable future.

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