The inhabitants of the Kuril Islands occupied by pressing matters and do not show much interest in the negotiations on the territorial issue

May 17, I joined the delegation for the first time this year paid a four-day visit as part of Kunashir visa-free exchange with the Northern Territory. At the meeting of Heads of State of Russia and Japan in April, an agreement was reached on the acceleration of regional negotiations, while on the islands is “Russification” with the construction of houses and roads. However, they adhere to their residents critical views about the quality of such infrastructure.

The second night of our visit, we were divided into groups of 4-5 and went on a visit to the local residents.

Until 2009, under the visa-free exchange meetings were held to discuss the territorial issue. However, the Russian side refused to these meetings, explaining that “political themes do not match the level of the exchange,” and the following year the meetings between the inhabitants turned into a form of informal discussions. This time the topic was “leisure.”

See also: Two Kuril islands instead of four

For economic exchange

During the welcoming feast members of our delegation, confused, asked about the “territories” in response to what they heard a variety of answers.

“If we all start to chase away, we would like to avoid parting with the island. Better to let the thriving economic exchange “(Igor Teplov, 39 years).

“Our children were born here, and we want to stay on the island. I want to decide the issue, so that ordinary people could live happily ever after “(Hope Subbotin, 36 years).

“I want you to know that there are people who believe that the island should be returned to Japan” – there was even such a statement.

Residents of the island, which take on the Japanese exchange, initially set positive with respect to the idea of ​​friendship between Russia and Japan, but their views do not necessarily reflect the general mood of “islanders”. Local journalist Sergey Kiselev (60 years) said: “Even the people who are up to date news about the negotiations of heads of state, do not show particular interest. All their thoughts are urgent problems. ”

Also on the topic: The Russian proposal in 1992 for the return of the islands were decisively rejected

The walls of the new building in the cracks

Based on the terms of social and economic development of the Kuril Islands, Russia launched in 2007, in the city in the central part of the island full swing. Before the House of Friendship, which stopped the delegation, even on a Saturday morning continued work on laying the basis for the road surface. The head of the South Kuril City District Vasily Sołomko proudly announced: “We make every effort to ensure a comfortable life for the people.”

However, within the walls of the newly constructed building has cracks, the floor of the curve, striking crudeness of work performed. During meetings with the residents heard angry voices: “Once opened kindergarten, it has twice closed for major repairs”, “Multi-family houses were built in a hurry, so the quality is terrible, do not intend to live in these new homes.” Many Russian contractors used in the construction of cheap labor, such as North Korea.

In November 2010, Kunashir Island was visited by President Medvedev. “Until last year, the people were full of hope for the development of their island. “The government will not abandon you,” – promised them. “This time feels more discontent,” – say the members of our delegation is not the first to come here.

See also: maritime border and Japan

Inquired about the size of a man’s wages, working as a fireman, learned that in a month he receives about 100,000 yen. This is 180% of the salary of civil servants on the mainland, but the fire sighs: “Prices are so high that even 280% is not enough.”

When we were visiting one of the residents of the island, she shared the following: “Medvedev promised to pay attention to the island, but they were just words. It would be better arrived Japanese companies. ” Many residents expressed hope for economic cooperation with Japan.


To join the delegation of representatives of the Japanese political party Daiichi Muneo Suzuki says: “If you keep silent, then Japan will have nowhere to go. Investments – is the shortest way to the conclusion of a peace treaty. ” Among idle fishermen Japanese Nemuro too strong expectations of economic cooperation, but the head office of the Union of inhabitants of the Kurile Islands Habomai in Nemuro, whose members consist of former residents of the islands, Akira Miyauti (a native of the island of Kunashir) is opposed to: “If we focus on investment before will address the issue of the return of the four islands, the question will be shelved. ”

Begin negotiations on the territories. Come if the heads of both states to draw – “HIKIWAKE” – that will satisfy the peoples of both sides?


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