×
Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Japan Protests Russia Move to Drop Peace Talks Over Ukraine

Japan has marched in lockstep with allies in the Group of Seven in imposing tough sanctions hitting Russia. EPA/HARISH TYAGI/TASS

Japan said Tuesday it "strongly protests" Russia's decision to abandon talks on a World War II peace treaty because of Tokyo's strong response to the invasion of Ukraine.

"The latest situation occurred as a result of Russia's aggression against Ukraine, and Russia's attempt to shift the issue to Japan-Russia relations is extremely unjustified and absolutely unacceptable," Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in parliament.

Japan "strongly protests," he added, condemning Russia for its actions to "unilaterally change the status quo by force."

Japan and Russia have for years attempted to reach agreement on a post-World War II treaty, but the status of four islands held by Moscow and claimed by Tokyo have been a key sticking point.

But overnight Russia said it would drop the talks, citing the "impossibility" of continuing discussions "with a country that has taken an openly hostile position and is striving to cause harm to the interest of our country."

Moscow said it was also ending a visa-free regime for Japanese people to visit the disputed islands and was pulling out of talks on joint economic activity there.

Japan has marched in lockstep with allies in the Group of Seven in imposing tough sanctions hitting Russian financial institutions and the country's leadership.

Japan's former prime minister Shinzo Abe pushed hard for progress in talks with Russia, but years of efforts have so far produced little agreement on the disputed islands, which Moscow calls the Kurils and Tokyo the Northern Territories.

Analysts say the lack of progress helped free Tokyo to take tougher action against Russia than in the past, when chances for a resolution appeared stronger.

"Japan's position of resolving the Northern Territories issue to sign a peace treaty is unchanged," Kishida said Tuesday.

"But Russia's invasion of Ukraine has left us with no prospects for the issue," he added.

He said it was also now "impossible" to imagine new economic cooperation with Russia, though Japan has not yet withdrawn from key joint energy projects, seen as necessary for the resource-poor country.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more