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The Prime Minister in Action

2022 National Rally to Demand the Return of the Northern Territories

February 7, 2022

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (1)

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (1)

  • Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (1)
  • Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (2)
  • Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (3)
  • Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (4)

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (2)

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (2)

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (3)

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (3)

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (4)

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (4)

[Provisional Translation]

On February 7, 2022, the Prime Minister attended the 2022 National Rally to Demand the Return of the Northern Territories held in Tokyo.

The Prime Minister said in his address,
 
 “Let me offer a few words on the occasion of the 2022 National Rally to Demand the Return of the Northern Territories today.
 
First of all, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the passing of Mr. MIYAUCHI Ryoichi, director of the League of Residents of Chishima and Habomai Islands and head of the league’s Nemuro branch, who dedicated himself to the campaign to demand the return of the Northern Territories for many years.
 
Although today’s event is held in an online live stream due to the severe situation concerning the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), I believe that it is truly meaningful to organize this rally on the Northern Territories Day.
 
I express my heartfelt respect and gratitude to the people watching the rally online, and all those around the nation, who work in earnest every day toward the resolution of the Northern Territories issue.
 
It is extremely regrettable that we have not yet resolved the Northern Territories issue and concluded a peace treaty with Russia, even 76 years after the end of World War II.
 
Last October, I held a telephone summit talk with President Putin immediately after the inauguration of my Cabinet, in which I stated that I would like to firmly work on the Northern Territories issue with President Putin without leaving the issue to the next generation, and President Putin stated that he intended to continue dialogue concerning all bilateral issues, including the issue of concluding a peace treaty.
 
Under the policy of resolving the Northern Territories issue and concluding a peace treaty, we will tenaciously continue negotiations, building on exchanges between the leaders since 2018, in line with bilateral agreements to date, including the exchange during the summit meeting in Singapore in 2018.
 
During the telephone talk, I stated that I place great importance on humanitarian measures for the former island residents, including grave visits to the four islands by airplane and hoped to resume them as soon as possible in conjunction with exchange programs involving the four islands. President Putin stated that he would like to continue consultations on this issue.
 
It is very regrettable that the program for the fiscal year 2021 was cancelled because of COVID-19, as it was in the previous fiscal year. When I give thought to your earnest wishes for your hometown, I strongly feel that we must resume the program at an early date.
 
To make progress in the territorial negotiations, the Government and people must work together, with each citizen increasing their awareness and understanding of the issue. Banners and placards showing the thoughts of many former island residents are on display in this venue today. I myself will push ahead with efforts, with the wishes of aging former islanders firmly in mind. In closing, once again, I sincerely ask the people for their strong and continued support and cooperation. Thank you.”

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