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part, belongs to Russia.
Shikotan to Japan was a gesture of good will (zhest dobroi We do not deny the fact that, according to the Russo- voli) by our country toward Japan, but was not our Japanese Treaty of 1855, the border between Russia and obligation toward your country. In the Declaration the Japan went between the islands of Iturup and Urup, and agreement by the sides to “continue negotiations on that in the 1875 treaty Russia ceded the northern part of concluding a peace treaty after the restoration of normal the Kurile islands in exchange for the cession by Japan of diplomatic relations" is also talked about, and the concept a part of Sakhalin island to Russia.
of the territorial issue” does not figure in the Declaration. We also paid attention to the fact that the Japanese I want to remind you that, as is mentioned in the Declaraside, referring to these agreements, at the same time
tion, the actual transfer of the islands Habomai and prefers not to recall the Russo-Japanese war and the
Shikotan “will be carried out after the conclusion of a Portsmouth treaty. Meanwhile, it is well known that peace treaty between the USSR and Japan." However, the Japan, having seized the southern part of Sakhalin and torn Japanese side refused to conclude a peace treaty on the it away from Russia, itself ignored and violated the
basis of the Joint Declaration. As for the islands Kunashir agreements of 1855 and 1875.
and Iturup, they are not mentioned either in the DeclaraJapan's treacherous attack on Russia in 1904 and the tion or in the letters which were exchanged on 29 Septemseizure of the southern part of Sakhalin through the ber of this year. For this reason the Japanese side's Portsmouth treaty of 1905 deprives the Japanese side of assertions that according to the Joint Declaration the sides the right to refer to the treaties of 1855 and 1875.
agreed to put aside the territorial issue for future discusI can also repeat that your assertion that the Kurile sion are arbitrary and the Soviet side declines them. In the islands, which Japan renounced in the San Francisco peace memorandum from the government of the USSR to the treaty, extend only to the northern part of this archipelago, government of Japan of 22 April 1960, it is said that the clearly contradicts all scholarly geographical understand- territorial issue between the USSR and Japan has been ings. Besides this, it is generally known that in documents resolved and confirmed by appropriate international which treat the Kurile islands issue (the Yalta agreement, agreements, which should be observed. the San Francisco peace treaty and other international
Some words on the subject of the exchange of letters agreements), these islands are in no way divided.
between A.A. Gromyko and S. Matsumoto on 29 SeptemYou speak about the fact that the USSR completed a ber 1956. Yesterday we already spoke about this issue. I territorial expansion only after Japan had capitulated in the want to remind (you) that these letters were signed at the Second World War. However, I would like to remind you moment when the sides had agreed that they would not that the liberation of the Kurile islands by Soviet troops broach the territorial issue in the Joint Declaration and was accomplished in keeping with preliminary understand- would discuss it after it had been signed. However, at the ings between the allies, and that the issue of time periods final stage of the negotiations the Japanese side again here cannot have principled significance. At the same brought up in a categorical form the issue of making an time, it can be pointed out that even after 15 August 1945, obligatory reference to this theme in the text of the Joint Japanese troops continued military actions, as a result of Declaration. By way of accommodating the Japanese side, which the Act of Capitulation by Japan was signed only on the Soviet side gave its agreement to including the known 2 September 1945.
formulation in the text of the Joint Declaration, having in And I want once again to note that your denial of the mind that this was our final position, on the basis of which applicability (deistvennost') of the Yalta agreement to the USSR was ready to conclude a peace treaty. However, Japan is entirely incomprehensible to us. Of course, Japan the Japanese side did not take advantage of the opportunity did not participate and could not participate in the Crimean that presented itself, and declined to conclude a peace [Yalta] agreement, insofar as it was concluded between treaty on the terms of the Joint Declaration of 1956. And countries which were at war against Japan; however, in January of 1960 a new Security Treaty was signed having signed an act of unconditional capitulation, it between Japan and the USA. You again repeated that this accepted all of the conditions which were determined by treaty has an exclusively defensive character. However, the allied powers, based on the relevant existing agree- we have full reason to believe that that is absolutely not ments among them, including the Crimean [agreement). the case. We have already explained to you our position
Today in international practice a precedent is being on this issue. I want to remind you that the effective created whereby the side which has suffered defeat, having sphere of the 1960 treaty, unlike the previous 1951 treaty, signed an act of unconditional surrender subsequently was spread beyond the limits of Japanese territory. Japan's begins to put forward conditions. Where is the uncondi- role changed after this treaty; that is, it took different tionality here? We call upon the Japanese side to think obligations upon itself in terms of its augmentation seriously about this fact.
(narashchivanie) of military might. The contents of the Yesterday you and I already discussed the issue of treaty, as well as the development of events after the how we understand the contents of the Joint Declaration of conclusion of the treaty, confirm that it led to a substantive 1956. The agreement by the USSR, as fixed in the
change in the situation (obstanovka) in the region. Declaration, to transfer the islands of Habomai and
Just now you drew a parallel between the Japanese
American Security Treaty and NATO, noting that the presence of NATO does not hinder the USSR from developing relations with the European member-countries of that bloc. However, here we have an entirely different understanding. We believe that the existence of blocs poses an obstacle to the development of normal relations, and over the course of many years our country has consequently advocated the dissolution of military blocs. Both in the East and the West we have a single approach to this issue.
Another few words about the Soviet-Japanese announcement of 1973, in which "unresolved issues” are referred to. We have more than once pointed to the fact that our Japanese colleagues here are making a one-sided and false interpretation of the contents of the formulation there. We did not recognize the "unresolvedness" (nereshennost) of the so-called "territorial issue." The issue of a peace treaty is another matter. We were then and remain now advocates of underpinning Soviet-Japanese relations with a stable base of agreement by concluding a peace treaty.
Kuriyama. We have listened to the comments of Deputy Minister Rogachev on the Soviet side's position on the territorial issue with great attentiveness.
We understand your comments in the following way: that the Soviet side has made an exposition to us in a complex form of its position, which we have earlier heard in parts. Frankly speaking, while listening to your comments it did not seem to me that a broadening of understanding and a convergence of both sides' positions on this issue have occurred. At the same time, just now we received from you a frank, detailed, and composite explanation of the Soviet side's position on the territorial issue.
We agree with what you have said about the necessity for us to leave aside emotion and to approach the resolution of this issue calmly.
We would like to state our thoughts and comments on the explanations of the Soviet position which you have made today, although, unfortunately, the time which has been allotted for today's meeting does not permit us to do this.
For this reason I want to propose that we prolong the meeting of our working group and, using the additional time, consult with you about the proposals Mr. Shevardnadze made yesterday.
Rogachev. We agree with your proposal to extend the time of our group's meeting and I would like to say several words right away on the issue you have touched upon.
On a general level of principle, we see this working group as a working organ which would also function between the consultative meetings of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of our countries. If you recall, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR said yesterday that we make use of such a practice with a whole series of countries, especially when resolving complex issues.
For instance, we have two such [joint] institutions
with the PRC [People's Republic of China] (for) political consultations and territorial negotiations. Incidentally, during his last visit the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the political consultations had fulfilled their functions and that there was no longer a need to continue the negotiations in that form. At present, this organ has fulfilled its goals and it is possible to move to other forms. We agreed with that. Another mechanism—the mechanism of territorial negotiations—continues to operate at present.
We will return to our bilateral issues.
We have differences of opinion on the issue being discussed and, in order that our positions be brought together and that the points on which we disagree be reduced, the creation of a working group in the capacity of a standing organ is being proposed, at the level, let's say, of deputy ministers. The group could conduct its meetings successively in Tokyo and in Moscow. The leaders of the groups could report to the ministers on the work that had been completed during their successive meetings and continue working in keeping with whatever understandings might be achieved on the given issue at the ministers' meetings.
This is how we conceive of this working mechanism, and, of course, we are ready to hear out your proposals and thoughts on the given issue.
Kuriyama. I thank you for your comments in this regard. We have listened to yesterday's proposal by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, as well as to your elaborations on this proposal today with great interest.
We, in principle, regard the idea of creating such a group at a working level in the interests of assisting the progress of the negotiations on the issue of concluding a peace treaty between the regular meetings of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of our countries as positive (polozhitel'no).
At the same time I believe that at the current meeting of our groups we should decide how it would be best to express in the joint communiqué the understandings that have been arrived at here, based on Mr. Shevardnadze's proposals from yesterday as well as on additional elaborations you have made today on this issue.
In this connection, I would like to propose for your attention the Japanese side's draft text on the issues which have been discussed in our working group, taking into account the results of the meeting of our group today, which could be included in a joint communiqué.
“The Ministers, in keeping with the understanding fixed in the Joint Japanese-Soviet statement of 10 October 1973, conducted negotiations related to the conclusion of a Japanese-Soviet peace treaty, including the issues which could constitute its contents. The sides agreed to assist the continuation of negotiations bearing on the conclusion of a peace treaty.
In this connection, the Ministers, noting the fact that the territorial issue, which, returning to historical facts, is a real obstacle to the development of bilateral relations, was Russian discovery and annexation of the Kuriles reaching back into the 17th century, and the definition of "Kurile islands." This monologue is reproduced in full on the CWIHP website: cwihp.si.edu.]
also discussed in the working group on the peace treaty. and recognizing that the settlement of the given issue and the conclusion of a peace treaty benefits the establishment of genuinely good-neighborly and friendly relations between both of our countries, agreed to continue the negotiations in the given working group in the interests of assisting the further progress of negotiations bearing on the conclusion of a peace treaty between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of both countries.
Rogachev. I would ask you to give us that text (to take) with us so that we can discuss it, and I think, we will be able to work out a mutually acceptable version.
Kuriyama. We have significantly extended our working time, and I would like to express our thanks to you that we have been able to exchange opinions so frankly and work seriously.
Rogachev. We have been in session with you for more than two hours already, but unfortunately, we have not yet been able to move our positions closer together. We will hearken to the saying that a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. Our conversation today was useful; we have learned more about each other's position. Thank you for your cooperation.
Transcript of the Basic Contents of the meeting of the working group
on the peace treaty
Tokyo, 21 March 1989
Now permit me to move on to the next issue.
Today you referred to the Joint Declaration of 1956 and the letters which were exchanged between Gromyko and Matsumoto. It seems to us that there arises a need to dwell on the contents of these documents, and also on their interconnections. It is well known that they were composed at different times and reflected the level of understanding between the sides of problems connected with the normalization of Soviet-Japanese relations and with the conclusion of a peace treaty. In December of last year we already spoke about this, and I want once again to direct attention to the circumstance that the exchanged letters between A.A. Gromyko and S. Matsumoto were signed during the intermediate stage of Soviet-Japanese negotiations when the sides were operating on the understanding that bilateral relations would be normalized as of yet without signing the peace treaty and that in the concluding document of the negotiations—the Joint Declaration—the territorial issue would not be touched upon, but would be discussed in the framework of negotiations on concluding a peace agreement after the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
However at the last stage of the negotiations the Japanese side stated an insistent request that the territorial theme must be reflected in the text of the Joint Declaration. The Soviet side acceded to the request (poshla navstrechu) and gave its agreement to the inclusion in the Joint Declaration of the well-known point.
This, however, did not signify the recognition by the Soviet side of the justice of Japanese territorial claims. It was a gesture of good will, which the Soviet Union undertook, acceding to Japan's desires and taking into account the interests of the Japanese state. And by doing this it was meant that it was the final position on the territorial issue upon which the USSR was ready to conclude a peace treaty with Japan.
In other words, the “territorial issue” which was spoken about in the letters exchanged between Gromyko and Matsumoto, was actually the formulation in a final form in the Joint Declaration of the Soviet Union's agreement to transfer Habomai and Shikotan to Japan. This is confirmed in the text itself of Point 9 of the Declaration, in which it is speaks only about the continuation of the negotiations relative to the conclusion of a peace treaty and does not at all mention the territorial issue.
This is tangentially confirmed in the clause contained in the given agreement about the fact that the actual transfer of the mentioned islands will take place after the conclusion of the peace treaty between the USSR and Japan.
It is impossible not to mention as well that the
The following persons took part in the negotiations: for the Soviet side: coms. I.A. Rogachev, deputy minister of foreign affairs of the USSR... for the Japanese side: T. Kuriyama, deputy minister of foreign affairs of Japan ...
Kuriyama. We will begin the evening session. According to our agreement, we will listen to Mr. Rogachev.
Rogachev. I would like to touch on the internationallegal aspects of the ownership of the Kurile islands.
Our position and arguments about the Soviet Union's ownership of the islands of Iturup, Kunashir and Lesser Kurile chain (Habomai and Shikotan), just as with all of the Kurile islands, as well as the southern part of Sakhalin island, have been put forward by us already more than once. Nevertheless, today again I would like, more broadly than before, to touch on some of the aspects which, in our view, bear principal importance....
[Rogachev then expatiates on the following issues: the Yalta agreement, the San Francisco peace treaty, the
expression “territorial issue” is not present in any of the subsequent Soviet-Japanese documents.
Afterwards, however, Japan did not make use of any of the available opportunities and refused to conclude a peace treaty on the terms of the 1956 Declaration, having put forward additional territorial claims toward the USSR. Moreover, the Japanese government began to conduct a policy toward the Soviet Union which contradicted the spirit of the Joint Declaration and the peaceful intentions expressed in the course of the negotiations on the normalization of Soviet-Japanese relations. The conclusion of the Japanese-American security treaty in 1960, directed essentially against the Soviet Union, changed the situation and confronted our country with the necessity of taking appropriate steps to defend its interests.
As is known, the law on international treaties (art. 44 of the Vienna convention on the law on international treaties of 1969) permits a unilateral refusal to observe a part of a treaty in case the treaty is violated by the other side or the situation fundamentally changes.
Now for several words on the character of the Japanese-American Treaty on mutual cooperation and security guarantees. Today, you, Mr. Kuriyama, tried to convince us that it has an exclusively defensive character....
(A short disquisition on the Japanese-American Treaty follows.]
time Japan used these islands as bases for aggression, including for the attack by a (naval] aviation formation on Pearl Harbor and attacks on peaceful Soviet vessels. For this reason, the confiscation of these islands from Japan after the war cannot be seen as a "territorial expansion" on the part of the victor, but should be seen as a measure taken in order to “halt and punish Japan's aggression,” that is, in keeping with the principle of responsibility for aggression as was voiced in the very same Cairo declaration.
We have already explained our assessment of the environment in which the neutrality pact between the USSR and Japan was annulled. It is incontrovertible that responsibility for the outbreak of World War Two belongs to Hitlerist fascism together with Japanese militarism. Germany's attack on the Soviet Union and Japan's on the United States, as well as subsequent events, fundamentally changed the environment in which the neutrality pact between the USSR and Japan was made. The Soviet Union's entrance into the war against Japan at the request of the Allies was a logical consequence of these changes and was dictated by the interests of ridding (all] peoples, including Japan's, of death and suffering, (and of] restoring the foundations of peace throughout the whole world.
In your statement, you again refer to the SovietJapanese statement of 1973, in which unresolved issues are mentioned. I want once again to repeat that, as we have said more than once, the Japanese side is committing a one-sided, false interpretation of the sense of the formulas contained therein.
On that, permit me to finish my “short” statement.
Kuriyama. Today at the meetings of the working group on the peace treaty, the Soviet side in a comprehensive and detailed manner made an exposition of its position on each concrete aspect of the territorial issue which was raised by the Japanese side. I think that in the course of the negotiations which have taken place up until now, the Soviet side has never before given such a detailed exposition of its views. I express my sincere recognition for the comprehensive elucidation. At the same time I express a feeling of respect for the fact that the Soviet side in the process of preparation undertook very detailed research and study of the territorial issue in clarifying its position. I have materials on the table which have been prepared by my colleagues, which contain many points elucidating our position on the points you have put forward. However, insofar as today the Soviet side presented us with new arguments, I consider it expedient that we must made additional preparations for the discussion of the territorial issue and to clarify our position in the course of the following session of the working group on the peace treaty. In keeping with today's explanations by the Soviet side of its position we again see that the positions of the Japanese and Soviet sides on this issue diverge widely, which I regret. But on the other hand, during the morning session, Mr. Rogachev touched on geographical aspects which should be included in the
It must be said that the destabilizing influence of the Treaty on the situation in this part of the world continues up until now and even into the future. The fact is that in keeping with the Treaty, more than 120 US military bases and establishments are located on Japanese territory, including means for delivering offensive nuclear weapons. We have in mind, in particular, F-16 fighter-bombers at the Misawa base, the cruiser “Bunker Hill” and the destroyer “Fife,” which are equipped with “Tomahawk” cruise missiles (and are] assigned to the port of Yokosuka. These are all realities which cannot be ignored.
I want once again to say that we recognize the right of each country to individual and collective self-defense, but we cannot but assess the Japanese-American “Security Treaty” as a military alliance having in addition an antiSoviet direction....
[A presentation on the Portsmouth Treaty of 1905, its precedents and results, follows.]
Now one more thought in connection with today's discussion.
The Japanese side asserts that the islands of Iturup, Kunashir, Habomai, and Shikotan were not seized by Japan "by force and as a result of avarice" and for that reason the relevant clause of the Cairo declaration does not apply to them.
It is well known that in the course of a long period of
contents of the peace treaty, and in doing so, if I am not mistaken, he said that the Soviet and Japanese sides have their views, but that it is necessary to apply effort to eliminating differences in our approaches, and that the Soviet side, in its turn, is ready to do so. I highly appreciate the given statement, and, making use of the opportunity, want to note that we share this opinion.
I think that the discussion which has taken place today is far from futile in the prospect for the continuation of the efforts of both sides. Today Mr. Rogachev stated the Soviet side's conception about the contents of the peace treaty. We would like to put forward our own thoughts on the contents of the peace treaty at the next meeting of the working group.
Mr. Rogachev said that the Soviet side does not adhere to a severe approach to the issues, but takes a businesslike and flexible position. At the same time the hope for an analogous approach from our side was stated. We are ready to display a similar approach within the framework of the working group on the peace treaty.
However, I want to dwell on one point connected with the statement which was made this morning by the Soviet side. You made reference to the islands of Takeshima, Senkaku and Okinawa as an example of Japan's flexible approach to other countries in cases when it wants to.
First, on the Senkaku islands. We received the impression that a definite misunderstanding exists on the Soviet side. The islands of Senkaku after the return of administrative rights over Okinawa were under the administrative control of Japan, as our original territory. We never agreed to a settlement of this issue by way of putting it on the “slow burner” (putem otkladyvaniia ego v dolgii iashchik).
Secondly, about Okinawa. The character of the given issue is essentially different from the character of the issue of the northern territories. After the conclusion of the San Francisco Treaty, administrative rights were recognized for the USA. The essence of the issue consisted in the return to Japan of the administrative rights on Okinawa.
And, finally, on Takeshima. In contacts with the Korean Republic we consistently speak out against putting this issue aside. According to the principle that the given issue should be resolved by peaceful means, Japan consistently states, even at the ministerial level, that the Korean side has no juridical basis for ruling these islands.
Your phrase about a flexible approach misses the mark. We would like the Soviet side to understand: from the political point of view there can not be the same approach to the northern territories which before the war were inhabited by 16 thousand Japanese, and which have an area of five thousand square kilometers, and to the Takeshima islands, which are uninhabited. If the Soviet Union considers it possible to adhere to the aforementioned approach, it thereby ignores political realities and the political significance of the issue of the northern territories, on the one side, and of the issue of the Takeshima islands, on the other hand.
Finally, one request. Mr. Rogachev, you said that you can give us a list of the sources which were referred to during the exposition of your position. We will probably make a request about this in the course of working procedure.
Rogachev. We will do so.
Kuriyama. If the Soviet side has no further questions, I would like to consult relative to the press briefing. Insofar as the attention of journalists is focused on the content of the discussion in the course of the meeting of the working group, I want to consult about the contents of
I the briefing with the goal of avoiding unnecessary misunderstandings. Up until now such a practice has existed.
Rogachev. We had the impression that yesterday we consulted, although, judging by the Japanese newspapers, the results of our conversation were unexpected. We showed our text, which we intended to publish, and you said that in principle you agreed (to it). We sent the text to Moscow, but something entirely different appeared in the Japanese press. I do not know by whose recommendation the message that the Soviet delegation was bargaining (vedet torg) appeared: six agreements for a high-level visit. That will never be. That is a risible thesis. We will conduct no negotiations, if we see that the Japanese side shows no interest. And you have no interest. I do not object to a consultation on the briefing, but I have doubts as to the results.
Kuriyama. If there are no more questions, I want thereby to finish the work of our committee. Several words in conclusion. In the course of two days we have held consultations, and today there was a meeting of the working group on the peace treaty. Although difficult problems exist between Japan and the Soviet Union, we were able to conduct a more detailed discussion of the issues, and our work benefited from a deepening of mutual understanding. During Mr. Uno's visit to the Soviet Union in May of this year, we will have to exert even more efforts to move forward our bilateral relations in the direction of realizing M.S. Gorbachev's visit to Japan. In conclusion I thank you for the Soviet side's cooperation with us over the course of these three days. I also express our recognition of the translators. I wish you, Mr. Rogachev, pleasant travels in Japan.
Rogachev. Permit me to say a few words. We are finishing the meeting of the working group on a peace treaty. I want once again to emphasize that the Soviet Union is conducting an honest, principled, open policy in all areas of the world, in relation to all countries and, in particular, in relation to its close neighbor, Japan. At the end of last year, following the conception of new political thinking, we took on an active role in improving our relations with Japan. After the meeting of our Minister of Foreign Affairs with Japanese leaders in December of last year there were hopes that perhaps a new stage in the history of Soviet-Japanese relations was beginning. An understanding was reached between the ministers of foreign affairs on the creation of a working mechanism to