Asahi reported on a speech delivered by Russian Ambassador to Japan Galuzin in Tokyo on Wednesday, quoting him as saying that talks between Japan and Russia on a peace treaty are not intended to be “barter trading” in which Russia receives investment from Japan in exchange for the Northern Territories. Referring to the 1956 Japan-Soviet Joint Declaration, the Russian envoy stressed that it is necessary for Tokyo and Moscow to first conclude a comprehensive peace treaty that will promote peaceful cooperation between the two nations. Galuzin also called on Japan to accept the “outcome” of WWII and remove “security concerns” held by Russia over the U.S.-Japan alliance. Concerning Prime Minister Abe’s apparent consideration for Russia by refraining from referring the Northern Territories as an “integral part of Japanese territory,” the ambassador said that Japan is sending out the wrong message because its new elementary school textbooks for fiscal 2020 describe the islands as territories of Japan. Nikkei ran a similar report.
Asahi also wrote that Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga commented on Galuzin’s remarks during a regular press briefing on Wednesday by saying that the government conducts proper screening of school textbooks and there has been no change in its legal position on the Northern Territories.