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Kuril gambit

Курильский гамбит

During the Eastern economic forum the President of Russia Vladimir Putin has invited Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to conclude a peace Treaty between the two countries until the end of 2018, without pre-conditions. Putin noted that Moscow proceeds from the fact that all territorial disputes between Russia and Japan will be solved one day. The President said that the contract can immediately register that the two countries “will seek to resolve all issues.” However, the Japanese side did not support the initiative, insisting on the primary settlement of the territorial dispute. The observer of “sovershenno Sekretno” understood, whether lawful claims of the Japanese and how we need the peace Treaty with Japan?

The Japanese, with a persistence worthy of better application, repeat the same phrase, worthy of the unforgettable Panikovski: “Give the Kuril Islands, give the Kuril Islands, the Kuril Islands…” From the frequent repetition of some already beginning to give the impression that we really someone something needs to give.

In response to Putin’s proposal to conclude a peace Treaty and resolve territorial disputes already neighborly Japanese Prime Minister in the press broke a fiery speech, the meaning of which, translated from diplomatic boils down to the thesis: “will Not the Islands – not to see Russia peace with Japan”.

Here begs the question: so what? For more than 70 years, since, when the Soviet army completely defeated the Japanese and returned the Kuriles, that there is no peace. If this world is so not needed Japan, maybe we have it or what?

The long history of the question

South Kuril Islands consist of 56 small and tiny Islands, stretching from North to South of the Kamchatka Peninsula to the Japanese island of Hokkaido. And in Japan, and in Russia they are known from the XVII century, was opened about the same time, and the first landing on the island occurred almost simultaneously.

In open Russian, Japanese, and Dutch Islands, the Ainu lived. In their language, “Kuri” means “people”, hence the name of the island ridge. So what about any colonization no-man’s land of speech in General can not be.

Ainu really much more Japanese than the Japanese. They lived on the Japanese Islands and partly on the mainland, on Sakhalin and in the Amur region, long before the arrival of the alien invaders. When in the V century BC, the Japanese invaded the lands of their future homeland, Ainu met them with arms, strictly speaking, had the right to do. But, as in the case of American Indians, the fate of the indigenous population was bitter. The armed struggle of the Ainu, despite their isolation and relative small size, lasted until the XV century ad

Thus the presence on the Islands of the Ainu in no way binds the Kuril Islands to Japan. Just in the XVII century ethnic Japanese discovered some more land on which he lived, clearly hostile to them people. In General, the genocide of the Ainu continued until the XX century and led to the extinction of native Japanese “hairy barbarians.”

With Russian fishermen from the Ainu had no problems. Clashes sometimes happened, but rarely. In General the atmosphere was quite friendly. The Russian presence on the Islands was increasing from year to year. In the XVIII century, when Empress Catherine the great, a large part of the Ainu in the Kuril Islands joined the Russian citizenship, was baptized into Orthodoxy, and their cry of “Apopi reconcile”! (Lord, have mercy!) at the time, led the Japanese in utter confusion.

Thus, if you follow the rule of international law formulated in 1836 by the English jurist Henry Wheaton (1. Perpetrate; 2. Pervozvannyi; 3. Long possession. – Approx. ed.), Russia quite legitimately had the right to attach the Kuril Islands to their land.

Diplomacy as it is not

The first legal document related to the delimitation of possessions in this region between Russia and Japan was signed in February 1855. I must say that from 1636 to 1854, Japan did not have with anyone of diplomatic relations. At the beginning of the XIX century Russian court tried to establish relations with its Eastern neighbor and sent to Japan Ambassador – the Rezanov (the prototype of the hero, “Juno and Avos”). But his ship stood in sight of the Imperial Palace six months, and not obtaining the permission of the Embassy to go ashore. Only in 1853, when the American squadron of Commodore Perry threatened the Japanese began bombing the capital, forced the Emperor to begin negotiations on trade, Japan began to open up to foreign relations.

The agreement with Russia was one of the first. He signed in very difficult situation. Black, White, and Baltic seas and in the Pacific was a war, according to historical misunderstanding called the Crimean. As you can see, its coverage was much broader, and Russian diplomacy tried to prevent the use of Japan as the main base of the British and French fleets vs Petropavlovsk and Vladivostok. The Treaty on friendship and trade, according to him, the Japanese were octoplus part of the Kuril Islands (Kunashir, Shikotan, the group of Habomai Islands and the largest island – Etorofu). At the moment to keep them available in the Russian far East forces simply was not possible. Alas, the plan failed. Japan decided not to oppose the Anglo-French squadron, but rather the entire, and had not planned to refuse her hospitality, so the victim turned out to be deeply unhelpful.

Indicative here is also the fact that, barely taking possession of the island, the Japanese began to systematically destroy everything that reminded him of Russia. Otherwise, everything was just great. The Japanese smiled, traded, mentally took Russian sailors and diplomats. The joint use of the Kuril Islands and Sakhalin was absolutely easy. Who were interesting complaints from local residents on piracy and harassment of the Japanese?

In 1875 in Saint-Petersburg was signed a new Treaty which gave Japan the Kuril Islands in exchange for full Japan’s renunciation of claims to Sakhalin. It’s hard to say what motivated Russian diplomats. Perhaps they believed that 212 people living on the Kuril Islands, is not a good reason to be in these places its presence. In exchange for a very fragile recognition of the already actually the Russian Sakhalin Russian territory tsarist diplomats absolutely no sense given Japan’s richest fisheries, ice Straits connecting the sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific ocean, and most importantly, gave Japan the opportunity to click to make a naval blockade of the island.

Pen and gun

Probably the most wise Imperial officials believed that the toy country of umbrellas, boxes, fans and fun warriors with wicker lampshades on their heads are absolutely harmless? In this case, there was still a lot to learn about the Eastern neighbor. When in 1904 the Russian banks came modern, equipped with well-trained crews of the Japanese fleet, the Baltic fleet, sent halfway around the world to help our far Eastern possessions, were simply shot in the area of Tsushima.

When the Japanese army began to move deeper into the mainland of the land, causing a very painful defeat of the Russian troops, it became clear that the Ministry of foreign Affairs “somewhat wrong”, assessing the potential and mood of the Japanese. It turned out that to prevent the landing of the enemy is simply impossible, because the Japanese fully controlled by the Russian coastal waters. That Russian Sakhalin blocked anyone in Japan care not approved not so long ago the status of this island. That the ships of our Pacific fleet can only make raids from their bases, not having a chance in the open sea. If not for the heroic defense of Port Arthur, permanently bound with the naval forces of Japan and a considerable part of her land forces, the situation would be completely losing.

The Russo-Japanese war has a special place in the history of relations between Russia, Japan, and beyond. The Japanese fleet was built abroad, mainly in England and America, the Japanese army was trained by German instructors, Japanese money for modernization of the armed forces were given by the American bankers. The official reason for the war was the strengthening of Russia’s positions in China and Korea, but without this excuse, there would be another – Japan methodically went to war. Was podtalkivaet to it from the outside and inside.

Our military commanders prudently met the Japanese troops in Russian lands, and in southern Manchuria. Yes, attempt to scatter the enemy caps have led to an acute shortage of caps and severe lesions. Quickly realizing that to defeat the enemy forces available in the far East, unreal, the General staff began otmobilizovat extra troops in the European part of Russia and send reinforcements to the army. First Japan’s success quickly waned. In 1905, the Russian army in this theater of operations is almost not inferior to the Japanese by major combat characteristics, and most importantly – an angry failure, she was willing to go into battle.

At this time, it was the Japanese?

Japanese historian Okamoto syumpey assessed the situation before entering into the world: “it is Obvious that the military Japan’s prospects were bleak. At that time the Russian army was three times stronger than the Japanese. While the Japanese army was driven mainly by reserve officers, since most of the staff officers were killed or wounded Russian consisted mainly of first-class troops recently arrived from Europe.”

Moreover, at the meeting with the Emperor, war Minister, Terauchi publicly stated that the war can no longer continue due to a shortage of officers. He was the second Minister of Finance son: “to Continue the war impossible, because there is no money”. The head of staff of the army, Yamagata brings the disappointing result: “the Only way out is peace.”

And the Japanese were suddenly peace-lover and humanist – 18 APR 1905 victorious Japan appealed to Theodore Roosevelt with a request to immediately offer Russia peace negotiations. Quickly realizing the situation, the American President immediately took the initiative to mediate between the warring powers.

In these circumstances, Russia had every chance to make peace so that he did not resemble a surrender. But it took the “great adept” – the President of the Russian Cabinet of Ministers S. Y. Witte. Coming from overseas telegrams clearly show that the game is one-sided. Given his invaluable contribution to the struggle against “tsarist”, to whom he swore to serve faithfully, it is not surprising – the worse the better.

However, due to a sharp reprimand from the Russian capital, Witte still put some effort and without special work has managed to get back part of Sakhalin. Japan was willing to go to great concessions, but Witte they were clearly not needed. Thus the treacherous conditions of the Treaty of Portsmouth, signed September 5, 1905, Russia ceded Sakhalin island from the 50th parallel and the Kuril Islands.

Of course, in Russia, this diplomatic “success” honest people find offensive, and Witte is firmly established contemptuous nickname Count Polusahalinsky.

Shortly in Russia the revolution has reawakened Japanese from sleep, and they happily landed in Vladivostok “to support the ruler of Russia Alexander Kolchak.” However, special support, they were not seen, but plundered everything what could reach. When in the end they were knocked out from the Far East, again raised the question of settlement of territorial claims. A new Treaty was concluded in 1925 in Beijing. The Soviet representatives stated clearly that, recognizing the Japanese capture de facto, they do not recognize its legal competence. Thus, points over i were placed absolutely unambiguous. And if in the 1925 effort to return occupied Japan just was not, in 1945 they already had quite.

And here it is necessary to remind that before to regain the Kuril Islands, the Soviet Union defeated the million-strong Kwantung army, once again. Suddenly found himself not in the native Japanese soil, and in China. Where they had arranged the present genocide of the indigenous population. And if you think about the fighting of the allies, the Japanese could get very far from his father’s house. And their appetite is swallowed from the land only increased. To assume that such a policy could be “ugly special case”, it is necessary not to know the orderliness of the Japanese. Now, when Japan accepted the role of subsidiaries in the United States, their appetite is defined in Washington. And during the meal he fails.

To our luck neither Gorbachev nor Yeltsin did not have time to give our overseas friends the “worthless cold stones in a deserted ocean.” Although the conversations in the community. To Putin the same way, he even 8th Dan in judo for the unknown “special merits in the development of” gave, like beads and mirrors to the natives that were compliant. Not swept.

What is the point to give someone our land? To lock up our fleet to a NATO base at a distance shot with a slingshot? It would be foolish, if not suicidal. To think better of us will not. But everything else is gonna think we’re stupid and weak. Do we need to?



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