Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is calling on the international community to recognize Japan's claims to four disputed islands Russia captured in 1945, as World War II was coming to an end.
Zelenskyy, while addressing the Ukrainian people Friday, said he had signed a decree that recognized Japan's sovereignty and territorial integrity, including the Russian-held islands of Habomai, Shikotan, Kunashiri and Etorofu, which Japan calls the Northern Territories and Russia has designated as the Southern Kurils, reports The Hill.
Japan says the Russian takeover violates the Neutrality Pact it signed with the then-Soviet Union earlier in the war. The two countries were not at war with each other until after Germany was defeated.
The 1951 Treaty of San Francisco dismantled Japan's empire and said it should give up its right to the four islands in the Kuril Islands chain, but it did not recognize the Soviet Union's control over them, and Japan argues that it should control the chain's four most-southern islands.
Zelenskyy, in his address, said Russia has no right to the territories and called on the international community to "de-occupy" all territories Russia is trying to keep.
"With this war against Ukraine, against the international legal order, against our people, Russia has put itself in conditions — and it is now only a matter of time — of the real liberation of everything that once was seized and is now under the control of the Kremlin," said Zelenskyy.
His call comes as Ukraine is carrying out a counteroffensive to regain territory Russia has taken since its invasion in February.
He said that so far this week, Ukraine forces have liberated almost 30 settlements, along with 800 square kilometers of territory in the east.
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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