The Japanese Diplomat Gift to Russia Scandal

  • The gift is map that shows Kuril Islands being part of Japan to the Russian museum.
  • The introduction of the amendments of the Russian constitution include the provision prohibiting propaganda of alienation of Russian territories.
  • This practice of Japanese Embassy and consular employees falls under the phrase "activities incompatible with the status of a diplomat" with the subsequent declaration of the violator persona non grata.

The Japanese embassy representative gifted the Russian history museum in the Minusinsk that caused a scandal. The gift is map  that  shows  Kuril Islands being  part of Japan. It should be noted, the Kuril Islands are under Russian jurisdiction.

The Kuril Islands or Kurile Islands is a volcanic archipelago in Russia’s Sakhalin Oblast that stretches approximately 1,300 km 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.

The museum director Svetlana Borisova was shocked and stated “It was surprising for us that such seemingly global processes are taking place so openly. It is unacceptable to rewrite history and suggest things that should be solved at the state level”

Furthermore, the propaganda pamphlets and “gifts’ are not new for Japan. However, for the Japanese diplomat to actually gift such map to the Russian museum can be seen as undermining Russia.

Additionally, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a propaganda book in Russian of the same orientation was distributed free of charge in Russia under the title “Milestones on the way to the conclusion of a peace treaty between Japan and Russia, 88 questions from Russian citizens”

At that time, Russia was weakened and the post Soviet leader Boris Yeltsin was a drunk and had no interest in rebuilding Russia. As a result, Japanese government had a propaganda  campaign  to spread pro Japanese interests amongst Russian poor  in the 1990s.

The propaganda entailed the Russian poor to support Kuril islands return to Japan, in turn Japan will help to build better Russia. Of course, this was just an social engineering campaign in an attempt to influence the uneducated and people in need.

Additionally, at almost every international meeting Japan makes sure to mention that Kuril Islands. Thus far, the Kremlin is aware of the issues, but more interested in maintaining symbiotic economic relations with Japan.

Moreover, Japanese diplomats will have rude awakening starting January 2021. The introduction of the amendments of the Russian constitution include the provision prohibiting propaganda of alienation of Russian territories.

The question ponders, how will the Kremlin handle the diplomats violating the law? Will they immediately  be ordered to leave the country, since under diplomatic immunity the arrest is not possible.

Boris Yeltsin was a Russian and former Soviet politician who served as the first president of Russia from 1991 to 1999

This practice of Japanese Embassy and consular employees falls under the phrase “activities incompatible with the status of a diplomat” with the subsequent declaration of the violator persona non grata.

The reason for this may be public criticism of the government or other state bodies of the host country.  Any other interference in its internal affairs.  Disrespect for its laws and customs, abuse of diplomatic privileges and immunity, etc.

Overall, it will be imperative to observe, how the new changes will impact foreign nationals in Russia. The new foreign agent law will take effect in the beginning of the year. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8DozYBirzo

Since the new law is not in effect until January, will the Kremlin issue the verbal warning or more? It is expected that the Kremlin representative Dmitry Peskov will make a statement pertaining this situation. According to the Russian social media platforms the Russian populous is insulted and seeking action.

The museum will no longer accept the gifts from Japan. There is a discussion to ban foreign gifts to the Russian museums that contain anti-Russian propaganda and meant to weaken Russia.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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