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  1. In 1956, the USSR and Japan signed a Joint Declaration, in which Moscow agreed to consider the possibility of transferring the islands of the Kuril Chain - Habomai and Shikotan after the conclusion of a peace treaty, while the fate of Kunashir and Iturup was not affected. The Soviet leadership expected that the agreement would put an end to the dispute. Japan, in turn, saw in it only a part of problem solution. Subsequent negotiations did not lead to anything. In November 2018, after a meeting of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and the Prime Minister of Japan Shindzo Abe in Singapore the two parties announced acceleration of the negotiation process on the peace treaty and the Kuril Islands. And the agreement of 1956 was taken as a basis. The statement of the Russian President in 2018 was taken by the Japanese as an agreement to make territorial concessions, and Tokyo began to behave as if the issue of transferring the islands was almost resolved. S. Abe even generously promised that the Russians that were living on the Southern Kuril Islands would not be evicted from there, in the event of the transferring the islands to Japan. Japan hoped to reach certain agreements during the G-20 summit held at the end of June 2019 in the Japanese city of Osaka. However, Russia refused to discuss the transfer of the two Kuril Islands to the Japanese side. In particular, Moscow fears an increase in the number of US troops in Japan as part of an alliance between Washington and Tokyo. Russia asked for concrete answers, as Japan intends to resolve Moscow’s concerns, but did not get any specifics. In this regard, the Russian side refused to negotiate on the two islands. Moreover, it was said that Japan should come out from under American influence, since Japan’s inability to act independently, without consulting with the United States, led in effect to zeroing of the Soviet Union’s proposal in 1956. Apparently, this time history repeats itself. At the same time, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin noted that Moscow has not any plans to transfer the Kuril Islands, adding that « Russian flag on the islands will not be lowered». Furthermore, the Russian president stated that Moscow intends to develop the Far East in general and the southern Kuril Islands in particular. It should be noted that the Russian authorities and the president V. Putin always emphasize that the territorial identity of the Kuril Islands is not negotiable. In recent years, Russia has consistently increased its military presence on the islands, preparing the infrastructure for the deployment of military contingent. Moreover, the islands are building a road network and airfields, upgrading the energy supply system, developing the fish industry and tourism, and building telecommunications infrastructure. Thus, it would be weird to take these steps in anticipation of the transfer of the islands. Furthermore, the loss of the southern Kuril Islands will damage the defense system of the Russian Primorye and weaken Russia's defense capability as a whole.
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