Get ready Japan: Russia has its own island-building project

(From the National Interest)

By Zachary Keck

China isn’t the only country embarking on an island-building campaign on disputed territory.

On Thursday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev reaffirmed that Russia will launch a civilian and military build-up on the Kuril Islands, which Japan also claims.

“We’re restoring both the civilian and defense infrastructure of the Kurils,” Medvedev said, according to Russia’s state-owned media.

Advanced Russian bomber

Advanced Russian bomber

Medvedev went on to explain that this initiative would be led by the Russian armed forces and Defense Ministry. “The Armed Forces, and the Defense Ministry of Russia are dealing not only with the military but also with the civilian component,” the Russian premier said.

Medvedev also announced that he will be visiting the Kuril Islands shortly. “I am planning to go there and have a look how matters stand there,” he said. He further encouraged other Russian cabinet members to visit the islands.

The decision to build up the islands’ infrastructure, as well as have the Russian prime minister and other cabinet members visit the Kuril Islands, is likely to set off tensions with Japan. Tokyo has long claimed the islands, and previously occupied them under the terms of Russia and Japan’s first bilateral treaty, the Treaty of Shimoda, signed in 1855. Soviet forces seized the islands in the waning days of WWII, and Russia and Japan have technically remained at war ever since over the dispute. Read more



Categories: Asia Times News & Features, Japan

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  • Daniel Berg

    You win land in war you keep it,

  • Bobserver

    You can even call it compensation for Japanese aggression against Russia from the late 19th century to the end of WWII. The Russians need the air flight paths and sea lanes that accompany possession to get out quickly into the Pacific Ocean. And with the US containment policy, Pivot to Asia, and rising Japanese militarism, the Russians are never, ever, going to give those islands up.
    The Japanese have still to apologize genuinely and compensate all forced labourers, comfort women and their families from China and Korea from WWII. The American Courts help Jewish claimants against German and Swiss banks and companies who seized loot and enslaved labour during that war. The South Koreans are now taking similar action in American Courts against the Japanese for their “comfort” women. The Chinese should join in on the class action lawsuit against the Japanese. If anything, this will inform a younger generation of the long standing misjustice carried out by the WWII Imperial Japanese with the murder of civilians, enforced slave labour and the maltreatment of girls and women in the countries that Japan occupied.

  • Sgs

    Just a misleading headline. The Kuril Islands already exist. Russia does not have to dredge to form these. If developing an already existing island is island-building, then Japan, which is an island, has been doing it for centuries. So Russia beware of Japan’s island-building.

  • Daniel Berg

    The American Court will never ever help South Korean and or Chinese against Japanese,,, The Jewish case is – was different , American just like Jewish see themselves as the Chosen one, clearly exceptional from other countries and people,

  • a z

    The South Koreans are much smarter than the Japanese. The Japanese is still clinging on to its white masters whereas the South Koreans are breaking away from the west. Despite the United States of America’s order, South Korea joined the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Japan, like a good little samurai, will follow its master to the end. After Japan patrols the South China Sea, it can patrol the Sea of Japan.