Two islands in the Kuril Islands chain, disputed between Russia and Japan since World War II, were accepted on Friday by the Ukrainian Parliament as Japanese territory.
The decision on the Habomai and Shikotan Islands followed a debate in the parliament of Ukraine, which currently faces a war by Russia that has tried to claim Ukrainian territory as its own, including through recent widely condemned referendums.
A statement by Ukraine’s parliament also called on the international community to take “all possible measures” to legally formalize the status of the islands, known in Japanese as the Northern Territories.
– Kuril Islands
The Kuril Islands chain separates the North Pacific Ocean from the Sea of Okhotsk.
On one side of the islands is Japan’s Hokkaido Island and on the other is the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia’s Far East.
Ownership of the four islands (Kunashir, Iturup, Shikotan and Habomai) is a matter of debate.
While the efforts of late Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to solve the problem were promising, Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 – seen by many as a prelude to the current war – made progress more difficult.