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Other names: Russian: Хабомаи; Japanese: 歯舞群島
|Khabomai Rocks from space|
|Total islands||10 + several rocks|
The Habomai Islands (Russian: Хабомаи (Khabomai), Japanese: 歯舞群島 (Habomai guntō) or 歯舞諸島 (Habomai shotō )) are a group of islets in the southernmost Kuril Islands. They are under Russian administration, but are currently, together with Iturup (Etorofu), Kunashir (Kunashiri) and Shikotan, claimed by Japan.
Habomai were occupied by the Soviet forces in the closing days of the Pacific War, and were eventually annexed by the Soviet Union in line with what Moscow claimed was a war-time agreement between the Allies (Yalta Agreement), which provided for the transfer of the islands to the USSR in return for its participation in the Pacific War.
In 1956, after difficult negotiations, the Soviet Union agreed to cede the Habomai to Japan, along with Shikotan, after the conclusion of a peace treaty between the two countries. In the event, the treaty was never concluded, and the islands remained under Soviet jurisdiction. However, the promise of a two-island solution (for the purpose of simplicity, the Habomai rocks count as one island) has been renewed in the Soviet-Japanese, and later, Russo-Japanese negotiations.
The islands are now uninhabited save for the Russian border guard outpost.
- Texts of Soviet–Japanese Statements; Peace Declaration Trade Protocol. New York Times, page 2, October 20, 1956.
Subtitle: "Moscow, October 19. (UP) – Following are the texts of a Soviet–Japanese peace declaration and of a trade protocol between the two countries, signed here today, in unofficial translation from the Russian". Quote:"...The U.S.S.R. and Japan have agreed to continue, after the establishment of normal diplomatic relations between them, negotiations for the conclusion of a peace treaty. Hereby, the U.S.S.R., in response to the desires of Japan and taking into consideration the interest of the Japanese state, agrees to hand over to Japan the Habomai and the Shikotan Islands, provided that the actual changing over to Japan of these islands will be carried out after the conclusion of a peace treaty..."