Russia on the prowl for northern territories

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 2, 2010)
Russia on the prowl for northern territories
中露共同声明 「領土」を意識した対日圧力(10月1日付・読売社説)

The recent joint statement issued by Russia and China appears to be an attempt by Moscow to discourage Japan from further advancing its territorial claims. Russia--a nation with which Japan has had a long-standing dispute over four Russian-held islands off eastern Hokkaido--has chosen to keep step with Beijing, which claims sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture.
 日本との間で北方領土問題を抱えるロシアが、尖閣諸島の領有権を主張する中国と歩調を合わせて、日本をけん制したのだろう。

During talks in Beijing on Monday, the top Chinese and Russian leaders inked a joint statement marking the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II.
 北京で9月27日に行われた中露首脳会談で、「第2次世界大戦終結65周年に関する共同声明」が調印された。

The document stated that both the Soviet Union and China had fought "aggressors" in the war. It pointed the finger of blame at Japan and Germany, saying Russia and China would not "tolerate any attempts to rewrite the history of the great war and glorify the Nazis and militaristic elements."
 声明は第2次大戦でソ連と中国がともに「侵略者」と戦った歴史を自賛した上で、「大戦の歴史を改ざんし、ナチスと軍国主義分子を美化するたくらみを許さない」と日本やドイツを指弾した。

It is extremely unusual for any nations to issue a joint statement on their historical perceptions of World War II, especially 65 years after hostilities ended.
 先の大戦への歴史認識を戦後65年も経て、共同声明として公表することは極めて異例である。

The statement also said that "China highly esteems the Soviet Army's role in staging a war of liberation in China's northeastern region."
 声明ではまた、「中国は、中国東北地方の解放戦役で果たしたソ連軍の役割を、高く評価する」としている。

Living in the past

Why does China think so highly of the Soviet Union's unlawful invasion of such territories as Manchuria (currently northeastern China)--which was home to the puppet state established in the region by prewar Japan--after it revoked the Russo-Japanese Treaty of Neutrality to enter the war immediately before its end?
 終戦直前にソ連が日ソ中立条約を破って参戦し、満州(現中国東北部)などに侵攻した不法行為を中国はなぜ高く評価するのか。

The statement also said the historical significance of engagement in World War II by China and the Soviet Union "cemented the foundation" of their current "strategic partnership for mutual cooperation."
 声明は、第2次大戦で中ソがともに戦った歴史が、現在の中露の「戦略的協力パートナーシップの基礎を固めた」とも指摘した。

The document makes no mention of the deep antagonism between the two countries from the 1960s to the '80s.
 1960~80年代にかけて深刻な中ソ対立が続いた事実には、一切触れていない。

Russia had previously designated Sept. 2 as the date it would celebrate the end of the war. This date marks the Soviet "victory over Japan," given that our nation signed a document on its surrender to the Allied powers on Sept. 2, 1945. This appears to indicate that Russia's pride as a major power in the contemporary world is based on its status as a World War II victor.
 ロシアは、先に日本が第2次大戦の降伏文書に調印した9月2日を事実上の「対日戦勝記念日」に定めた。大国の誇りの拠(よ)り所である戦勝国意識の反映だろう。

There is no doubt that Russia's designation of Sept. 2 as the war-victory anniversary was intended to strongly deter Japan's demand for the return of the northern territories to Japanese rule.
 同時に、日本の北方領土返還要求を強くけん制したものであることは間違いない。

Japan's protest justified

After his trip to China, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited Kamchatka in the Russian Far East.  メドべージェフ露大統領は今回の訪中後に、極東ロシア・カムチャツカ地方を訪問した。

Medvedev told reporters that the northern territories were "a very important part of our country. I'll visit them in the near future without fail." Medvedev's statement signified a strong desire to ensure that a Russian head of state visits the northern territories for the first time. No Soviet leader visited the territories.
 大統領は記者団に対し、北方領土について「わが国の重要な地域だ。近い将来、必ず訪問する」と述べ、旧ソ連時代を通じ、国家元首による初めての北方領土訪問に強い意欲を示した。

This is another attempt by Russia to block Japanese moves to seek the reversion of the territories while also projecting Medvedev as "a strong leader."
 これも、日本の北方領土返還の動きを封じるとともに、「強い指導者」をアピールする狙いがあると見られている。

Medvedev's remarks prompted Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara to immediately summon Russian Ambassador to Japan Mikhail Bely to his ministry's head office, where he protested the China-Russia joint statement. "I have no choice but to question Russia's true motive [behind the statement]," Maehara reportedly told Bely.
 前原外相は直ちに駐日ロシア大使を呼び、中露共同声明について「ロシアの真意を疑わざるを得ない」と抗議した。

Maehara also warned the Russian ambassador that a visit to the northern territories by Medvedev would "seriously hinder Japan-Russia relations." The foreign minister had every reason to send this message.
 さらに、大統領が北方領土を訪問すれば、「日露関係に重大な支障が生じる」と警告した。当然の対応である。

All indications are that Russia is attempting to pressure Japan, hoping to turn the situation in its favor. Moscow apparently senses that the Japan-U.S. alliance has been shaken since the Democratic Party of Japan came into power last year, while Tokyo's relations with Beijing are deteriorating. The administration of Prime Minister Naoto Kan must turn around its approach to foreign relations as quickly as possible.
 民主党政権下で日米同盟が揺らぐ一方で、日中関係が悪化していることをにらみ、ロシアが日本側に圧力をかけている。菅政権の外交立て直しが急務だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 1, 2010)
(2010年10月1日01時28分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-10-02 07:08 | 英字新聞

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