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Ex-citizen of Russian-held isle resolved to pass on his story

Takashi Kawata sees an expanding significance in passing on to youngsters his experiences as a previous citizen of one of the Russian-regulated islands off Hokkaido.

“The significance of telling our stories to future generations is increasing year by year,” Kawata, 83, stated of the previous homeowners’ desire to recognize the return to Japan of the islands at the facility of a territorial row in between Tokyo as well as Moscow.

Three-quarters of a century after completion of World War II, there is still no possibility visible of settling the disagreement, which has actually protected against both nations from wrapping up a tranquility treaty to officially finish their wartime hostilities.

Kawata began his narration tasks regarding 5 years ago to elevate public understanding regarding the territorial disagreement.

“Even 75 years after (the seizure of the islands by Soviet troops), I want people not to forget the fact that the Northern Territories are an inherent part of Japan’s territory,” he stated, utilizing the Japanese federal government’s term for the team of islands.

In the closing days of the battle, Soviet soldiers began getting into the Chishima island chain, north of the challenged islands, on Aug. 18, 1945, frustrating Japanese soldiers.

Kawata plainly bears in mind the day when some 30 Soviet soldiers came to Taraku Island. The island is component of the Habomai team of islands, which is one of the 4 Russian-held islands.

When the battle finished, Taraku Island had some 1,400 Japanese homeowners.

“As Soviet troops showed no signs of fighting, I did not feel much fear,” stated Kawata, that was 8 years of ages at the time.

Soviet soldiers inhabited institutions on Taraku Island as well as barracks of the Imperial Japanese Army there, horning in residences as well as swiping watches as well as various other products from Japanese individuals.

Meanwhile, some Soviet soldiers gone to Kawata’s house, looking for aid with washing as well as therapy of their injuries. Some of the soldiers provided him konpeito sugar sweet as well as completely dry biscuit.

Opportunities to share the background of the territorial row as well as the experiences of previous Japanese homeowners of the challenged islands are lowering.

The number of previous Japanese islanders has actually dropped to some 5,700, from regarding 17,000 in the past, according to the Hokkaido federal government. Their typical age is currently 85.

This year, the coronavirus dilemma is presently producing an extra barrier for the tasks of the previous homeowners.

The city of Nemuro as well as 4 communities that lie near the challenged islands are exerting to welcome college journeys in as well as outside Hokkaido, intending to elevate understanding regarding the territorial concern.

But 15 of 19 junior high school as well as secondary schools have actually terminated strategies to check out the communities amidst the coronavirus dilemma.

“More schools may cancel their school trip plans,” a Nemuro local government authorities stated.



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