"2-plus-Alpha" Isle Option with Russia Mulled 60 Yrs Ago: Records

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 19 (Jiji Press)--Like recently, there were discussions in Japan some 60 years ago about resolving its territorial dispute with Russia over four islands held by Moscow and concluding a bilateral peace treaty under a so-called "two-plus-alpha" approach, declassified diplomatic records showed Wednesday.

In January 1960, the Japanese Foreign Ministry compiled documents to prepare for then Japanese Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi's visit to the United States for talks with then U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower.

The Jan. 5 documents, describing the situation at the time over pending issues between Japan and the Soviet Union, noted that some in Japan say Tokyo should conclude a peace treaty with Moscow by resolving the territorial dispute with the return of two of the four northwestern Pacific islands, namely Shikotan and the Habomai group of islets, as they are called in Japan, plus alpha.

Specifically, the documents cited a request submitted to the Japanese government by a domestic fishery industry group in 1959.

In the request, made based on opinions of fishermen in Nemuro in the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido, located close to the islands, the group said the government needs to make efforts to conclude a peace treaty with Moscow promptly under minimal conditions acceptable to the Japanese public, according to the documents.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press