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IBRU: Centre for Borders Research


Towards a Framework for the Resolution of the Territorial Dispute over the Kurile Islands

Author: Seokwoo Lee


Towards a Framework for the Resolution of the Territorial Dispute over the Kurile Islands - image

Territorial disputes arising from the aftermath of World War II continue to hamper international relations in the Asia Pacific region. Japan is a disputant in three such cases involving islands in East Asia. In the first of three Briefings focusing on these disputes, Dr. Lee examines the Kurile Islands case in detail starting with the geographical and historical background to the dispute. Both claimants, Japan and Russia, marshal support for their cases from historical sources, and these are examined. But of equal, if not greater, importance are the decisions taken on boundaries and territorial dispositions at the end of the World War II, chiefly the San Francisco Peace Treaty. Interpretation of the territorial clauses of that treaty and their implementation are pivotal to an understanding, and even an eventual solution, of the dispute.

Drawing upon international law, together with a study of the recent history and developments in the dispute, this Briefing assesses the respective claims of Japan and Russia to the Kurile Islands and the likelihood of a resolution to the dispute in the near future.

See also Boundary & Territory Briefings Vol. 3 No. 7 and Vol. 3 No. 8 for information on two additional island dispute in East Asia involving Japan.

Boundary & Territory Briefings (Vol. 3 no. 6)
This article is available as a free download.



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