Sorry Sergey, you’re Shinzo now! US tells 20,000 Russian islanders from disputed Kurils that it considers them to be Japanese | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Sorry Sergey, you’re Shinzo now! US tells 20,000 Russian islanders from disputed Kurils that it considers them to be Japanese

Russian citizens of the disputed Kuril Islands are, according to US officials, actually Japanese – a result of the US’ policy of insisting much of the archipelago, governed by Moscow since World War II, rightly belongs to Tokyo.

Japanese newspaper Hokkaido Shimbun reported on Friday that Russians born on the islands of Habomai, Shikotan, Kunashir and Iturup are, for the purposes of drawing up green cards, considered Japanese by the US immigration authorities. The islands are, however, governed by Moscow and their 20,000 residents include people of Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian and Tartar descent, as well as an indigenous Ainu population.

Russia’s sovereignty over the Kurils is contested by Japan, and the archipelago has been a historic flashpoint for tensions between the two countries. The islands changed hands in 1945, after being pledged to the Soviet Union in return for entering the Second World War and fighting against Imperial Japan, the main regional ally of Nazi Germany. The entire Japanese population was expelled shortly afterwards.

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