Use Putin’s Proposed Peace Treaty to Pull Russia Away From China

Key points in this article:

  • Why has the territorial dispute been so prolonged? How Japan-Russia relations have been hampered from improving
  • We must face the reality of deepening China-Russia relations
  • Japan must become the nexus between Russia and the U.S.

Japan must not lose its once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to complete the China encirclement network.

On 12 September at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and proposed signing an unconditional peace treaty with Japan by the end of the year.

In Japan, the majority opinion is that a peace treaty cannot be signed until the all four Kuril Islands are returned to Japan. Even the press, often clashing between right wing and left wing opinions, unanimously agree on this point.

Public opinion attaches great importance to the return of the islands. But the real question is whether it is a wise idea to bring the territorial disputes to the fore and estrange Russia as a consequence?

To answer this, let us first examine the history of the Kuril Islands dispute.


The U.S. Hampers Improvements in Japan-Russia Relations

In 1951, Japan renounced its claims to (Karafuto Prefecture) South Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands when it signed the Treaty of San Francisco. Japan, however, believes that there are at least four islands that are not part of the Kuril Islands, and therefore not subject to the treaty. The dispute about these islands remains unresolved.

Soon after that, in 1953, Stalin’s death presented an opportunity for Japan and the USSR to fundamentally revise their relations. The Japanese government tried to settle the problem once and for all with the return of two of the four islands, Habomai and Shikotan.

The U.S. then intervened. John F. Dulles, the then U.S. Secretary of State, threatened that if Japan made a compromise with the USSR and gave up the other two islands, Iturup and Kunashir, the U.S. would be justified under Article 26 of the San Francisco Treaty to never return the Okinawan Islands to Japan. In other words, he used the Okinawan people as hostages.

The Treaty of San Francisco did not recognize Japan’s independence, and effectively treated it as a U.S. protectorate. Dulles is known to have told a British government official that the Treaty’s true purpose was to continue America’s occupation of Japan and that he had no intention of granting Japan full independence.

In other words, the Treaty of San Francisco was America’s occupation policy to force Japan to emphasize the need for all four islands to be returned. Of course the USSR rejected this idea. What, then, was the U.S. trying to achieve by doing this? The U.S. tried to hamper reconciliation between Japan and the USSR by leaving the territorial problem in limbo.

So America’s policy to separate Japan and the USSR is one of the reasons why the territorial dispute has been so prolonged.


U.S. Troops in the Kuril Islands Will Be a Threat to Russia

Of course, Russia is aware of this, and they are also constantly aware of America’s influence on Japan’s territorial negotiations.

What Russia fears most with this issue is that, if the islands are returned to Japan, it is likely that the U.S. will station troops there. Even if Abe and Putin vow to keep the U.S. army out of the area, there is nothing to guarantee that the next Japanese Prime Minister will not break that promise. For Russia, returning the Kuril Islands is like having their backyard invaded by U.S. soldiers.

Russia’s tight grasp over the islands is not just out of obstinacy. Russia also has more territorial disputes with other countries. If they return the Kuril Islands, the other countries will start demanding their territory be returned. Therefore, if they were to return the Kuril Islands they would need a powerful enough reason to justify doing so, which is why they are inviting Japan to invest in a large-scale infrastructure project in the Far East.


Dangers of Deepening China-Russia Ties

Strengthening Japan-Russia relations is a ‘no brainer’ considering the current global situation.

China is using their huge trade surplus on military expansion, and the greatest growing anxiety for the West is how to suppress this threat. Meanwhile, China and Russia are strengthening their relationship. In September, China joined Russia’s large-scale military exercises conducted in Vostok simultaneously with the Eastern Economic Forum. It is clear that the relationship is cooperative, and the friendship growing deeper.

If both countries decide to combine their nuclear powers it will become a major world threat. Seeing the looming crisis, in February the U.S. announced the Nuclear Posture Review to expand the role of nuclear weapons and their capabilities.

In other words, a policy to separate China and Russia is now of global importance.

Trump, however, has his hands tied. The U.S. Congress is filled with hardline anti-Russia powers, not to mention the fact that the issue of Russian interference in the 2016 elections remains unresolved. This makes it difficult for Trump to invite Russia to the Western side and treat them as allies. It makes Japan the last ray of hope.

Unfortunately, Japan has been adopting policies that have encouraged the China-Russia alliance, such as supporting the U.S. economic sanctions on Russia.


Japan to Devise a Diplomatic Strategy

We must think carefully about how Japan should respond to this global situation. Considering its national interests, Japan should have the greatest apprehension about China’s military and materialist regime that is now heavily oppressing its own people. Given this is the case, the Kuril Islands issue must be put aside and improving relations with Russia should become a top priority.

The greatest example of this sort of move is Britain.

During WWI, Britain formed an entente with Russia to fight Germany. And during WWII their idea of making the USSR an Allied country secured their victory against Nazi Germany. Britain was able to survive these critical times by forming a diplomatic strategy which may have required sacrifices, but won their war against a potential enemy.

Likewise, Japan should quickly form a peace treaty with Russia and even establish a Japan-Russia entente to secure its national survival.

As noted above, the Kuril territorial dispute is not something that Japan initiated: the U.S forced it upon them, which the people then started taking for granted.

National sovereignty means that a country has a right to independently act and legislate policies. Japan should learn from Britain’s actions during the world wars and make independent decisions about the level of the impending threat. Japan needs to come up with policies that are in accordance with its national interests.

Fortunately, Trump personally sees China as a threat but does not think of Russia as an enemy. He also believes in the sovereign rights of each country. While he may despise Japanese politicians who want to depend on American military support, he has no intention of making Japan a U.S. protectorate.

That is, he probably won’t interfere if Japan were to pursue a cooperative stance with Russia, and if anything he would thank Japan for becoming a nexus between Russia and the U.S.


Unconditional but Still Worth It

Master Ryuho Okawa, founder and CEO of Happy Science, predicted this course of events back in 1994 in a lecture entitled “Other-dimensional Travel.”

The U.S. will separate China from North Korea. And after they finish dealing with North Korea, they will make an encirclement network around China. The U.S. will make countries such as Japan, Germany and Britain become permanent members of the UN Security Council, and friends with Russia to create the China encirclement network.

In the lecture “The Path to Truth” in 2016 Master Okawa said,

Japan should sign a peace treaty with Russia even if that means temporarily putting aside the Kuril Islands problem. It’s better this way. Actually, the two islands that Japan is demanding back mean nothing to Russia.

What is really important is national strategy. How will Japan cooperate with Russia? How will they cooperate with the U.S.? What will they do for the world? Deciding these things is what is really important . . . For Japan to strengthen relations with Russia and the U.S. will lead to the next counter-China strategy. (from “The Decision Toward Prosperity”)

Separating China and Russia is essential to creating the China encirclement network. A frightful future awaits us if we miss this opportunity. What is needed is a courageous decision from Japan to form a peace treaty with Russia, even if it is unconditional. This is what will protect the peace and prosperity of the world.

Use Putin’s Proposed Peace Treaty to Pull Russia Away From China
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