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  • Subject area(s): Hospitality
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  • Published on: 15th October 2019
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  • Number of pages: 2

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We at the UN understand that this debate as to the rightful dominion over the Kuril Islands began early in the 20th century and has escalated greatly in the years after the Second World War when tensions were high. We also understand that Japan originally claimed sovereignty over the piece of land in question for many sound reasons.  First, they are located  just north of Japan, which is an island country itself and has historically maintained control of the disputed islands.  In addition, the disputed islands were originally unpopulated frontier lands, but later were inhabited by citizens of Japan who had been living in the area for decades. We further understand the immense economic value of the area due to the excellent fishing opportunities along with the strong possibility of additional revenue provided by tourism as the island boasts many volcanoes and exotic bird species. It has been also been made clear that the Japanese control  of this area was abruptly ended by Russian aggression, followed by claims of Russian dominion. It is our understanding that the Kuril Islands were under Japanese control for centuries, and were populated by Japanese citizens at the time the Russian government made a claim to the islands, deporting  the Japanese citizens who had been living there peacefully for many years.

In 1945, Russia used its military to take control of the Kuril Islands and deported all the residents. Because the lands were obtained via aggression, the existing residents were denied an opportunity for self-determination and were instead forcibly removed from the land they inhabited.  The Russians then seized the land as their own to further their economic development by exploiting the fishing and tourism industries  promised by the islands. Russia had no historical claim to the islands but because of this takeover they do have a claim in the present. In recent years, Russian citizens have moved to these captured islands and Russia has begun building infrastructure across their expanse, working toward better transportation and communication methods for the islands. They have increased militarization to give themselves a more dominant presence on the islands as well. Russia first declared these islands as their own based on their military appropriation at the end of the Second World War. Russia also maintains their right to the islands based on the San Francisco Peace Treaty from the late 1950’s, which stipulated that Japan relinquished an island chain to its north.  However, the treaty did not specify the four main islands in question, thus leaving that claim open to debate.

Japan’s claim to these Islands is historical in nature as that country had dominion over them until late in World War II when they were “annexed” by Russia. Up until this point, there were nearly 17,000 Japanese residents living on this island under the sovereignty of Japan.  Geographically, it also follows that these islands would be under Japanese control, given their proximity to the Japanese mainland. In fact, the Russian government and Japanese government signed a treaty in 1855 giving Japan full control of the Kuril Islands. The Russians later invaded, violating a non-aggression pact that had been signed by both parties, and seized the islands only 3 days after the bombing of Hiroshima.  The entirety of the seizure of these islands came as unwarranted aggression for which the Japanese nation was unprepared.

The Japanese Nation-State is now making a claim to these Islands based on the treaty of 1855 and the decades-long inhabitation of its citizens on these islands. The Japanese government has tried unsuccessfully to negotiate with Russia to regain control of these Islands which they have ruled for years. Japan has made good faith efforts to negotiate with Russia and has even suggested compromises in which the Kuril Islands would be the only land granted to Japan in the deal.  Any such negotiations have been met with cold refusal from Russia and often the “compromises” suggested by the Russians have benefited only the Russians and been harmful to the Japanese interests. The San Francisco Treaty was an attempt to involve a neutral entities (the United States) in order to more equitably solve the issue. The resulting pact did not specify that Russia would control the islands in question. In short, the Russians have used aggression and military activity to usurp control of what has historically been Japanese territory and now steadfastly refuses to relinquish control of land that is not rightfully theirs.

In conclusion, we of the supranational organization of the United Nations have decided this extreme territoriality will be ended by stating that Japan is entitled to this territory for multiple reasons. The first is that the area was awarded to Japan in the late 19th century and later populated by Japanese citizens over many years. The second is that Russia invaded the islands and forced thousands of civilians to leave their homes, an act which in itself is unacceptable. A third reason is that Japan has tried to be diplomatic about the entire situation and has even attempted compromise over an area that they rightfully own but Russia has only denied offers and pushed back against all diplomatic efforts. After analyzing the claims to both sides, we will be giving full rights to these islands to Japan and demand that Russia peacefully withdraw so that the Japanese may reinhabit the land. We expect that such an act will be executed in a non-violent fashion with no further military action and no bloodshed. By way of compromise, this decision also affords Russia authority over the upper island chain, giving them access to the resource rich deposits located in the region,  as the upper islands still fall within Russian ocean territory. If the Russian government is unwilling to agree to these terms or will not settle this dispute peacefully, the United Nations will have no choice but to engage in significant sanctions against that country until such time as they are in full compliance with the decision provided today.

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