Russia Withdraws from Peace Talks with Japan

Russia and Japan have still not settled tensions from World War II.

Russia and Japan have still not settled tensions from World War II.

At the end of World War II, Russia seized a contingent of islands located off the coast of the northernmost Japanese island of Hokkaido. These islands would be known by the Russian government as the Kurils, though to this day, Japan has not recognized this claim, merely referring to them as the Northern Territories. Both countries have been in peace talks regarding these islands for years, but as Japan has hit Russia with sanctions over their ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Russia has decided to break contact.

“Under the current conditions Russia does not intend to continue negotiations with Japan on a peace treaty,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, noting Japan’s “openly unfriendly positions and attempts to damage the interests of our country.”

“This entire situation has been created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and Russia’s response to push this onto Japan-Russia relations is extremely unfair and completely unacceptable,” said Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the matter.

“Japan must resolutely continue to sanction Russia in cooperation with the rest of the world,” he added.

Japan has joined numerous other major countries in imposing sanctions and trade restrictions upon Russia, as well as pledging to send aid to Ukrainian citizens endangered by the conflict.

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