Japan considers conditions to retrieve Russian-held isles

(VOVworld) - Tokyo might promise Moscow that returning the disputed islands off Hokkaido to Japan will not mean that US military forces will be stationed there in line with Japan-US security arrangements.
Japan considers conditions to retrieve Russian-held isles  - ảnh 1
Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before talks in Sochi, Russia in May (Photo: Kyodo)
According to diplomatic sources on Saturday, Russia has told Japan it respects the 1956 Japan-Soviet Joint Declaration which states Moscow will hand over smaller Shikotan and the Habomai group after concluding a peace treaty with Japan. But it is also concerned US military forces might be stationed on Shikotan and Habomai after they are returned, based on Article 5 of the Japan-US security treaty. The article allows US troops to be stationed in territories administered by Japan. Tokyo is studying the impact if Shikotan and Habomai, or possibly all 4 disputed islands, are exempted from the Article 5 application.
Tokyo believes such a promise will facilitate negotiations on the dispute between the two countries over 4 islands including Shikotan, Habomai, Etorofu, and Kunashiri which are now held by Russia.