Ex-Resident of Russia-Held Isle Resolved to Pass on Experience

Society

Nemuro, Hokkaido, Aug. 12 (Jiji Press)--Takashi Kawata sees a growing importance for passing on to young people his experiences as a former Japanese resident of one of the Russian-controlled northwestern Pacific islands.

"The significance of telling our stories to future generations is increasing year by year," Kawata, 83, said of the former residents' wish to realize the return to Japan of the islands at the center of a territorial row between Tokyo and Moscow.

Three-quarters of a century after the end of World War II, there is still no prospect in sight of resolving the dispute, which has prevented the two countries from concluding a peace treaty to formally end their wartime hostilities.

Kawata started his storytelling activities about five years ago to raise public awareness about the territorial dispute.

"Even 75 years after (the seizure of the islands by Soviet troops), I want people not to forget the fact that the Northern Territories are an inherent part of Japan's territory," he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press