Nothing brings different nations together like food. The members of the Japanese visa-free delegation, who arrived on Iturup on Sunday, and the local residents, who came to meet with foreigners at the district house of culture and sports, could be convinced of this. As part of a cultural exchange, culinary workshops took place there.
The delegation went straight from the seaport to DKiS, and while the final preparations for the “belly festival” were being completed in the foyer, the Russian and Japanese sides exchanged greetings in the hall of the concert and concert complex.
The first deputy head of the administration, Vladimir Degtyarev, spoke for the people of Kuril.
- We are always happy to welcome guests. In recent years, more tourists and delegations from countries such as Korea, the United States, and China have begun to arrive in the area, and we hope that we will see tourist groups from your country too,” Vladimir Degtyarev said.
The speaker noted that the local authorities, for their part, are doing everything to improve the infrastructure in the municipality.
- We continue to build roads and are gaining momentum in the improvement of Kurilsk and the villages of the region. A special walking path with a length of 2.7 km is being built. And thanks to JSC Gidrostroy, it became possible to visit another thermal spring with very good mineral water. At the same time, we are trying to treat our heritage with care, and when you drive around here, you could see that archaeologists have already begun working in the coastal area. This is a lot of money, but we go for it, and during the summer, archaeologists should explore the sites where Ainu settlements or camps are located. We hope that our work will contribute to increasing the attractiveness of our area for guests from all countries,” Degtyarev concluded.
The issue of Russia’s military construction on the Kuril Islands has nothing to do with the conclusion of a peace treaty with Japan, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov told the media on Tuesday on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum.
"I have no idea of our military construction plans, but they have nothing to do with the talks being conducted over the issue of a peace treaty [with Japan]. Military construction issues are not discussed there," he said.
Earlier, the news agency Kyodo said that Russia allegedly had plans for deploying coastal missile systems Bastion on the islands of Paramushir and Matua.
Igor Morgulov said on Tuesday he would hold a round of consultations on security issues next week in Tokyo and discuss Russia’s military construction on the Kuril Islands.
"Next week in Tokyo I will hold another round of consultations on security, where we will be able to discuss issues linked to Russia’s security concerns, which are related to military construction in Japan and the activity of the Japanese-US military alliance. The Japanese colleagues will ask us questions related to their concerns over our military construction," the high-ranking diplomat told reporters, answering a question on Russia’s deployment of Bastion missile systems to the Kuril Islands.
Russia sets 1945 as the starting reference point in determining the nationhood of the southern Kuril Islands because it is precisely in that year that these islands were ceded to the Soviet Union, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with members of the Russian Far East community on the sidelines of the fifth Eastern Economic Forum (EEF).
During that gathering, head of the Seven Oceans naval training center Anatoly Shtanko mentioned the expedition to Japan conducted by the 19th-century Russian admiral and diplomat, Yevfimiy Putyatin. The Russian president clarified: "Was it him who ceded the islands to Japan?" [Putin was talking about the 1855 Treaty of Shimoda, which established that Japan then gained control over a part of the Kuril Islands — TASS]. Shtanko replied that history has many significant dates and that "judging by [the] 1945 [outcome], there can be no questions [about the Kuril Islands] whatsoever."
"Let’s rely on this, and on this starting point. Papa [Stalin] took everything and that was that, end of discussion. [He was] The Father of Nations," Putin said smiling, referring to Joseph Stalin who led the Soviet Union at that time.