The wording of the 1956 Japan-Soviet Joint Declaration on a peace treaty shows that Tokyo then considered the Southern Kuril Islands as an inalienable part of the Soviet Union’s territory, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Friday.
"We have never rejected the 1956 Declaration, unlike Japan, which was forced by the Americans to put its implementation on hold, by signing a treaty on a military alliance in 1962," TASS quoted Lavrov as saying.
Since the first days of his presidency, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed that Moscow will have a responsible approach to all commitments undertaken by the Soviet Union, he noted.
Lavrov recalled that under the Declaration Russia and Japan agreed on taking steps to achieve a peace treaty, and this implies the recognition of the outcome of World War II.
The Declaration says that after signing this agreement Moscow will be ready to solve the border disengagement issue as a good will gesture and to meet the Japanese people’s interests, he noted.
"The mere fact that the basis of such a prospect was defined as the Soviet Union’s good will gesture and its intention to take into account the interests of the Japanese people means only one thing - at the moment of signing the declaration both sides considered these islands as an inalienable part of the Soviet territory," Lavrov said. "Without recognizing this fact it is impossible to move forward on the basis of the declaration."