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PM Abe’s adviser on Russian policy: Japan gave up on return of all four islands in 1991

NTV reported this morning that former Lower House member Muneo Suzuki, who is the head of New Party Daichi and known to be an adviser to Prime Minister Abe on negotiations with Russia, stated during a program  on NTV’s satellite TV channel on Wednesday evening that on the Northern Territories Japan in 1991 shifted to a policy of only demanding the return of Habomai and Shikotan after the end of the Cold War in the belief that would be the only feasible solution to the territorial issue. When asked why the government has not explained this policy change to the people, he said that it is premature to do so since negotiations are still underway. He also asserted that Japan cannot press for the return of the other two islands in the negotiation process since this would arouse suspicion on the Russian side and compromise the talks.

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