| Disputed island |
Other names: Russian: Шикотан; Japanese: 色丹島
NASA picture of Shikotan Island
|Area||225 square kilometres (56,000 acres)|
|Federal subject||Sakhalin Oblast|
Shikotan (Russian: Шикотан; Japanese: Japanese : 色丹, romanized: Shikotan; Ainu : シコタン or シコタヌ, romanized: Sikotan), also known as Shpanberg (after Martin Spangberg), is an island in the Kurils administered by the Russian Federation as part of Yuzhno-Kurilsky District of Sakhalin Oblast. It is claimed by Japan as the nominal Shikotan District (色丹郡, Shikotan-gun), part of Nemuro Subprefecture of Hokkaido Prefecture.
The island's primary economic activities are fisheries and fishing, with the principal marine products being cod, crab, and kelp. The name Shikotan derives from the Ainu language and means "the village proper" or "real town" (Ainu reflexive or embellishing prefix si- + Ainu kotan "inhabited place, settlement, village, town").
The total land area of Shikotan is 225 km². The island is hilly, averaging 300 metres in elevation. The shores of the island are very indented and covered with oceanic meadows. The highest altitude is 412 m. The island is formed by the volcanic rock and sandstone of the Upper Cretaceous and Cenozoic periods. There are two extinct volcanoes on Shikotan: Mount Tomari and Mount Notoro.
Shikotan's vegetation consists mostly of Sakhalin fir, larch, deciduous trees, bamboo underbrush, and juniper brushwood.
There are two villages: Malokurilskoye, formerly Shikotan (色丹); and Krabozavodskoye, formerly Anama (
Russia recognised Japanese sovereignty over the island in the 19th century. In 1885, Hanasaki District, to which the island belongs, was split off of Nemuro Province and incorporated into Chishima Province.[ citation needed ]
In September 1945, during the final days of World War II, the island, which had a population of 1,038 at the time,[ citation needed ] was invaded by 600 Soviet troops. It is one of the islands (along with the Habomai Islands) which the Soviet Union agreed in 1956 to transfer to Japan in the event of a peace treaty between the two countries (such a peace treaty has never been concluded). Between the late-1950s and to the 1960s, the Soviet Union fortified the island with old tanks (mainly IS-2 and IS-3 heavy tanks) repurposed as coastal-defence artillery against a possible seaborne invasion, by digging them into the ground and employing them as fixed gun emplacements.
An earthquake and subsequent tsunami caused major damage on the island's coastline on October 4, 1994.
The 2014 anime film Giovanni's Island is a fictionalized account of the fate of Japanese civilians living on Shikotan at the time of the 1945 Soviet occupation.
The Kuril Islands or Kurile Islands is a volcanic archipelago in Russia's Sakhalin Oblast that stretches approximately 1,300 km (810 mi) northeast from Hokkaido, Japan to Kamchatka, Russia, separating the Sea of Okhotsk from the north Pacific Ocean. There are 56 islands and many minor rocks. It consists of the Greater Kuril Chain and the Lesser Kuril Chain. The total land area is 10,503.2 square kilometres (4,055.3 sq mi), and the total population is 19,434.
The Kuril Islands dispute, also known in Japan as the Northern Territories dispute, is a disagreement between Japan and Russia and also some individuals of the Ainu people over sovereignty of the four southernmost Kuril Islands. The Kuril Islands is a chain of islands that stretch between the Japanese island of Hokkaido at the southern end and the Russian Kamchatka Peninsula at the northern end. The islands separate the Sea of Okhotsk from the Pacific Ocean. The four disputed islands, like other islands in the Kuril chain that are not in dispute, were annexed by the Soviet Union following the Kuril Islands landing operation at the end of World War II. The disputed islands are under Russian administration as the South Kuril District of the Sakhalin Oblast. They are claimed by Japan, which refers to them as its Northern Territories or Southern Chishima, and considers them part of the Nemuro Subprefecture of Hokkaido Prefecture.
Nemuro is a subprefecture of Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan. Japan claims the southern parts of the disputed Kuril Islands as part of this subprefecture.
Kunashir Island, possibly meaning Black Island or Grass Island in Ainu, is the southernmost island of the Kuril Islands archipelago. The island is currently under Russian control, though Japan also claims the island.
Iturup is one of the Kuril Islands. It was formerly known as Staten Island. It is the largest and northernmost island in Russia's southern Kurils.
Chishima Province was a province of Japan created during the Meiji Era. It originally contained the Kuril Islands from Kunashiri northwards, and later incorporated Shikotan as well. Its original territory is currently occupied by Russia, and its later territory was renounced in the San Francisco Treaty except the southernmost four islands.
The Habomai Islands (Russian: Хабомаи, Japanese: 歯舞群島 or 歯舞諸島 are a group of islets in the southernmost Kuril Islands. They are currently under Russian administration, but together with Iturup, Kunashir, and Shikotan are claimed by Japan.
Onekotan is an uninhabited volcanic island located near the northern end of the Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk in the northwest Pacific Ocean. Its name is derived from the Ainu language for "large village”. It is the second largest island, after Paramushir, in the northern subgroup of the Kurils. It is administratively included in the Severo-Kurilsky District of Sakhalin oblast, Russia.
The Soviet Union did not sign the Treaty of Peace with Japan in 1951. On October 19, 1956, Japan and the Soviet Union signed a Joint Declaration providing for the end of the state of war, and for restoration of diplomatic relations between USSR and Japan. The two parties also agreed to continue negotiations for a peace treaty. In addition, the Soviet Union pledged to support Japan for the UN membership and waive all World War II reparations claims. The joint declaration was accompanied by a trade protocol that granted reciprocal most-favored-nation treatment and provided for the development of trade. Japan derived few apparent gains from the normalization of diplomatic relations. The second half of the 1950s saw an increase in cultural exchanges.
Relations between the Soviet Unionand Japan between the Communist takeover in 1917 and the collapse of Communism in 1991 tended to be hostile. Japan had sent troops to counter the Bolshevik presence in Russia's Far East during the Russian Civil War, and both countries had been in opposite camps during World War II and the Cold War. In addition, territorial conflicts over the Kuril Islands and South Sakhalin were a constant source of tension. These, with a number of smaller conflicts, prevented both countries from signing a peace treaty after World War II, and even today matters remain unresolved.
In 1869, the island of Hokkaido, Japan was divided into 11 provinces and 86 districts. The majority of Japan's former provinces were converted into prefectures by the Meiji government between 1870 and 1876.
Yuri (Iurii) is an uninhabited island in the Habomai Islands sub-group of the Kuril Islands chain in the south of the Sea of Okhotsk, northwest Pacific Ocean. Its name is derived from the Ainu language word for cormorant.
Chirinkotan is an uninhabited volcanic island located in the centre of the Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk in the northwest Pacific Ocean. Its name is derived from the Ainu language for "mudslide". It is located 3 kilometres west of Ekarma, its nearest neighbor.
Kharimkotan ; Japanese 春牟古丹島; Harimukotan-tō, alternatively Harumukotan-tō or 加林古丹島; Karinkotan-tō) is an uninhabited volcanic island located 13 km (8 mi) from Onekotan near the northern end of the Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk in the northwest Pacific Ocean. Its name is derived from the Ainu language, from “village of many Cardiocrinum”.
Shumshu is the second-northernmost island of the Kuril Islands chain, which divides the Sea of Okhotsk from the northwest Pacific Ocean. The name of the island is derived from the Ainu language, meaning "good island". It is separated from Paramushir by the very narrow Second Kuril Strait in the northeast 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi), and its northern tip is 11 kilometres (6.8 mi), from Cape Lopatka at the southern tip of the Kamchatka Peninsula. The island has a seasonal population of around 100 inhabitants.
Shiashkotan ; is an uninhabited volcanic island near the center of the Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk in the northwest Pacific Ocean, separated from Ekarma by the Ekarma Strait. Its name is derived from the Ainu language, from “Konbu village”.
Rasshua, is an uninhabited volcanic island near the center of the Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk in the northwest Pacific Ocean, 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from Ushishir and 30 kilometres (19 mi) southwest of Matua. Its name is derived from the Ainu language for “fur coat”.
Anuchina is an uninhabited island in the Habomai Islands sub-group of the Kuril Islands chain in the south of the Sea of Okhotsk, northwest Pacific Ocean. Named after Dmitry Anuchin, Russian anthropologist, ethnographist and archaeologist. Island′s Japanese name is derived from the Ainu language.
Japan is currently engaged in several territorial disputes with nearby countries, including Russia, South Korea, the People's Republic of China, and the Republic of China.
The Japan–Russia border is the de facto maritime boundary that separates the territorial waters of the two countries. According to the Russia border agency, the border's length is 194.3 km.
Moscow, October 19. (UP) – Following are the texts of a Soviet–Japanese peace declaration and of a trade protocol between the two countries, signed here today, in unofficial translation from the Russian
...The U.S.S.R. and Japan have agreed to continue, after the establishment of normal diplomatic relations between them, negotiations for the conclusion of a peace treaty. Hereby, the U.S.S.R., in response to the desires of Japan and taking into consideration the interest of the Japanese state, agrees to hand over to Japan the Habomai and the Shikotan Islands, provided that the actual changing over to Japan of these islands will be carried out after the conclusion of a peace treaty...
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