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Russia is not going to transfer the Kuril Islands to Japan

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The return of the Kuril Islands has become the Japanese national idea. The Japanese government has been insisting that Kunashir, Iturup, Shikotan and Habomai islands are the Japanese original territories illegally captured by Russia for more than 70 years. The «Northern territories» term was introduced by Japanese side after World War II. A considerable amount of money from the state budget is spent annually on the program for the return of the «northern territories».

The non-government organizations play important role in solving this problem. These organizations were formed in Japan in the middle of the last century, and they have legally involved in «educational propaganda» on the «Northern territories» issue since 1969.

In Japan there is a Movement for the Return of the Northern Territories. It consists of more than 70 million people. This movement formally advocating the strengthening of friendly relations with Russia, is quite tough in defending Japan’s claims to the South Kuril Islands. Along with it, the All-Japan Council for the development of relations with the four northern islands, as well as the Parliamentary Association for the return of the northern territories and the development of relations with the inhabitants of the four islands, operate in Japan.

The bulk of the organizations that advocate for the return of the Kuril Islands are located on Hokkaido Island. These organizations were especially widespread in the cities of Kushiro and Nemuro, where there are a large number of Japanese deported from South Sakhalin islands and the Kuril Islands after the World War II.

One of the largest nationalist organizations - the Association of Former Residents of the Four Islands, has been working in Nakoshibetsu in Hokkaido for half a century. The association unites about 18 thousand former residents of the islands, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. According to the leaders of this organization, 50000 Japanese would like to move to the Russian South Kuril Islands, including children and grandchildren of immigrants.

The propaganda activities of organizations during the travel of Japanese delegations in the framework of visa-free exchanges to the Kuril Islands are widespread. The Japanese groups are always attended by members of these organizations, who during their meetings meet with the local population, carrying out a massive psychological and informational impact on the inhabitants of the South Kuril Islands.

Over the years, activity forms of such non-governmental organizations are becoming more sophisticated. Moreover, the activities of these Japanese public organizations play a large role in attracting attention to this problem, both in Japan and in the world as a whole.

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