Former Russian President's Harsh Statement

Written by Henrik Rothen

Jan.30 - 2024 7:18 PM CET

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Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Former Russian President's Harsh Statement.

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In a recent and controversial statement, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev suggested that Japanese officials who disagree with his stance on the disputed Kuril Islands should consider committing seppuku, a traditional Japanese form of ritual suicide. This suggestion came in response to the ongoing tension between Russia and Japan over the islands, known as the Northern Territories in Japan.

The inflammatory comment was made on X, following a speech by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to his country's parliament. Kishida spoke about the importance of signing a peace treaty with Russia to formally conclude World War II hostilities. The dispute over the Kuril Islands, seized by the Soviet Union at the end of the war, remains a significant barrier to such a treaty.

Medvedev's remarks on the platform were blunt and uncompromising. He stated that the 'territorial question' regarding the Kuril Islands is definitively closed, aligning with the Russian Constitution. He emphasized the strategic importance of the islands, noting plans for their development and the potential stationing of new weapons.

Medvedev, a close ally of current Russian President Vladimir Putin and deputy chairman of the Security Council of Russia since 2020, explicitly dismissed Japan's claims to the islands. He declared that the feelings of the Japanese concerning the so-called 'Northern Territories' are irrelevant to Russia, which he asserts has undisputed ownership of the land.

In a provocative closing remark, Medvedev referenced Japan's partnership with the United States, despite the historical context of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

He suggested that committing seppuku might be preferable for Japanese officials than continuing their alliance with the United States, which he characterized in derogatory terms.

This statement has escalated the diplomatic tension between Russia and Japan, casting a shadow on the already complex negotiations for a peace treaty and further complicating the long-standing territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands.

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