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The expert estimated the future joint projects of Russia and Japan on the Kuril Islands

A prominent Japanese expert on Russian-Japanese relations Yukio Asazuma not rule out that Russia and Japan will stop joint economic activities on southern Kuriles against the background of amendments to the Russian legislation for territorial integrity.

"The opportunity to continue negotiations on the territorial issue, the two countries remains", - said the expert, who is a knight of the order "Friendship of Peoples", consultant on Russian-Japanese cooperation.

However, in his opinion, for cooperation in the economic sphere the two countries "ability decreased significantly".

"The reason is that the Japanese side is extremely decreased motivation to promote business with Russia", - said Asazuma.

According to him, "if the territorial issue will come to a standstill, it will be impossible to continue negotiations on the peace Treaty."

"There is a possibility that will be stopped and a joint economic activity", - said Asazuma.

Deputy foreign Minister of Russia Igor Morgulov on July 2, after a nationwide vote on amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, in particular prohibiting the alienation of Russian territory, said that the adoption of the amendments will not affect the joint economic activity with Japan on the Kuril Islands.

During the visit to Japan by Russian President Vladimir Putin in December 2016 it was agreed to discuss the possibility of joint economic activities of two countries in the South Kuril Islands. While in Tokyo emphasized that this exercise should not violate the legal positions of both countries. The implementation of joint projects being considered in areas such as aquaculture, greenhouse agriculture, tourism, wind energy and recycling of waste.

Relations between Russia and Japan for many years overshadows the absence of a peace Treaty. In 1956 the USSR and Japan signed a Joint Declaration in which Moscow has agreed to consider the possibility of transfer of Japan of the Habomai and Shikotan after the conclusion of a peace Treaty, and the fate of Kunashir and Iturup are not affected. The USSR hoped that the Joint Declaration will put an end to the dispute, Japan believed the document only part of the solution, not abandoning claims to all the Islands.

Later the negotiations failed, the peace Treaty after the Second world war and was not signed. There is a view that serious opposition arose from the United States, which threatened that if Japan would agree to the transfer of only two of the four Islands, it will affect the process of the return of Okinawa under Japanese sovereignty (the Agreement on the return of Okinawa to Japan entered into force in 1972). Moscow's position is that the Islands became part of the Soviet Union at the end of the Second world war and the Russian sovereignty over them cannot be questioned.

In 2018 in Singapore at the end of the summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister said that the sides agreed to accelerate negotiations on a peace Treaty on the basis of Joint Soviet-Japanese Declaration of 1956. This is a serious concession on the part of Japan, because until now, its official position was to demand the return of the four Islands and only after that - the conclusion of a peace Treaty.