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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 October 12 - 18  > Shii appears in Hokkaido’s local business magazine
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2016 October 12 - 18 [JCP]

Shii appears in Hokkaido’s local business magazine

October 17, 2016
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo has attracted public attention. Following the major weekly news magazine, “Sunday Mainichi”, a local monthly business magazine in its latest issue ran an interview with Shii.

The magazine, “Zaikai Sapporo”, which is published in Japan’s most northerly prefecture of Hokkaido, wrote, “Shii has grilled the Abe government in the current extraordinary session of the Diet. He is playing a major role in opposition parties’ joint efforts overtly and covertly.”

The interview covered various topics from the opposition parties’ joint struggles to the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement and the Japan-Russia territorial issue.

The TPP has generated grave concerns across Hokkaido which is famous for agricultural products, especially for dairy products. Asked about the free-trade pact, Shii stressed that it will deliver a devastating blow to participating nations’ domestic economy, employment, and people’s livelihoods for the sake of multinational corporations. He expressed that the JCP will work hard to block Japan’s ratification of the free-trade agreement.

As the Russia-held northern territories which include Habomai, Shikotan, Etorofu, and Kunashiri islands are located off the northeast coast of Hokkaido, the Japan-Russia territorial issue was also a major topic in the interview. The title for this part of interview came from the JCP’s proposal that Japan should conclude no more than an “interim treaty” if it agrees to the return of two islands.

Shii clarified some historical facts and fundamental problems regarding the Japan-Russia territorial dispute.

Noting that the government reportedly seeks to achieve the return of Habomai and Shikotan islands first, Shii said that the return of the two islands should be agreed based on an ‘interim’ pact so that Japan can continue negotiating the return of all the Chishima Islands which Japan also claims as its territory. Shii went on to say, “The Japanese government should talk with Russia about the return of the whole of Chishima as the fundamental standpoint. This approach will lead to opening the door for the return of Kunashiri and Etrofu islands.”

Past related articles:
> Japanese gov’t should negotiate with Russia for return of ‘Northern Territories’ based on international law: JCP [February 8, 2016]
> Historical record of Japan-Russia territorial question [November 2, 2010]
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