Oct. 19 marks the 65th anniversary of signing the Japan-Soviet Joint Declaration, which restored diplomatic relations between Japan and the former Soviet Union. At a press conference on Oct. 18, Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu expressed his willingness to resolve the territorial issue with Russia over the Northern Territories. “We will actively address the issue based on the various agreements that have been reached between our two countries to date,” Matsuno said.
The joint declaration clearly states that the islands of Shikotan and Habomai will be returned to Japan after a bilateral peace treaty is concluded. “We will not put off the conclusion of a peace treaty to the next generation,” stressed Matsuno. “We will resolve the issue of possession of the four Northern Islands and conclude a peace treaty [with Russia].”