Russia vows to arm disputed Kurile islands

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Feb. 9, 2011, 8:54 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Reuters

The Mistral class amphibious assault ship.


Russia will deploy new weapons to protect an island chain at the centre of a dispute with Tokyo, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday, just days before a visit by Japan's foreign minister. Soviet troops occupied the four islands off Japan's Hokkaido at the end of World War Two and they have remained in Moscow's hands, preventing the two countries signing a peace treaty and straining their relations. Russia must deploy "necessary, sufficient and modern weaponry to ensure the security of the islands as an inseparable part of Russia," Medvedev told Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov at the president's residence near Moscow.

Last year Russia's Chief of Staff Nikolai Makarov said Russia may send Mistral-class helicopter carriers it is buying from France under a December deal to the Pacific to help protect the islands.

Russia has an artillery division armed with outdated weaponry deployed on the small, windswept Southern Kuriles, and the number of military personnel is not publicly available.


Medvedev also called for investment in the islands from any of Russia's Pacific region neighbours who do not feel cooperating with Russia on the issue "insulting".

Medvedev angered Japan in November by making the first visit by a Russian leader to the islands some 7,000 km (4,350 miles) east of Moscow. Most of Kurile's 19,000 people live in the four disputed islands.

Serdyukov visited military units on the islands last week, prompting new protests from Japan, whose Foreign Minister Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara is due to visit Moscow on Friday.

"We now understand which weaponry should be there, which measures will be taken to rebuild the military infrastructure," Serdyukov told Medvedev on Wednesday. He did not elaborate.

Russia plans to invest $615 million in the development of the islands between 2007 and 2015 with the bulk of the cash coming from the federal budget. Over one third of the amount has already been invested.

"These islands are unique. There are opportunities to develop tourism there. We need to lure investors into these islands," Medvedev said. "Those who do not consider our cooperation 'insulting' are welcome."

Russia has stressed it will not surrender the islands and urged Japan, which competes with China and Korea for lucrative Russian deals and access to energy resources, to focus instead on bolstering trade and economic ties with Russia. During Maehara's visit, the two sides will discuss joint construction of a liquefied natural gas plant in Russia's Pacific. Japan and Russian gas monopoly Gazprom agreed last year to conduct a feasibility study for the project.
The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
Anonymous Feb. 10, 2011, 1:13 a.m.    

Yup, payback for Port Artur is a betch, considering the fact that the Red Army defeated in Manchuria more Imperial Japan "warriors" in a month then the US sissy boys for five years pussyfooting in the Pacific. In fact the US cowards nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki because the US sissies were afraid to face the japs in large sale ground battle. LOL :D

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Anonymous Feb. 10, 2011, 5:23 a.m.    

Get your facts right. Russia entered the war USSR with japan during the closing months. The battle at manchuria lost only a little over 60,000 KIA jap's, said USSR. Jap,s said they only lost a bit over 21,000 KIA. The pacific theater was mostly fought and won by the USA.

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Anonymous Feb. 11, 2011, 1:10 a.m.    

Sure, learn to read before talking. LOL :D

By August 1945, the Kwantury Army had pieced together a

combat force of 1,155 tanks, 5,360 guns and 1,800 aircraft. Discounting Japanese forces in South Sakhalin, Korea and the Kuriles, the Soviets faced an army totalling little more than 710,000 men.

The Japanese Emperor's decree to surrender was issued

over the radio on 14 August 1945 after the Japanese notified

Allied powers that Japan would accept the Potsdam offer for

surrender. However Japanese IGHQ did not issue a formal

cease-fire order to the Kwangtung Army until August 17th.

[12-39] The result was continued fighting in some areas,

surrender in other areas and confusion everywhere.


On 18 August the Soviets made an

amphibious landing on the Kurile Islands. The 25th of

August witnessed the surrender of more than 18,000 Japanese

in South Sakhalin and on 5 September the Soviets captured

all of the Kurile Islands and took 63,840 POW's. [6-51] The

official surrender to the Allied Powers occurred on 2

September 1945.

As a result of the Russians' meticulous planning and

bold offensive plan, they took 594,000 Japanese prisoners

including 143 generals and 20,000 wounded. The Kwangtung

Army suffered over 80,000 men and officers killed in combat

which lasted less than two weeks. In contrast, the well-

prepared Soviet Army had 8,219 killed and 22,264 wounded.


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Anonymous Feb. 10, 2011, 7:04 p.m.    

Never forget nor forgive Manchukuo and Nankin Massacre

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Anonymous Feb. 10, 2011, 8:22 p.m.    

The tourism part is laughable

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