Ukrainian parliament sides with Japan, decrees northern territories as under Russian occupation

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The northern territories are seen off Hokkaido’s Nemuro Peninsula, bottom left.

KYIV — The Ukrainian parliament voted to confirm Friday that it regards Japan’s northern territories as under Russia’s occupation, and to support Japan in negotiations over the islands.

In the wake of Moscow’s unilateral annexation of four regions in eastern and southern Ukraine, Kyiv’s move is seen as an attempt to show solidarity with Japan for its support of Ukraine and to increase international condemnation of Russia.

“The northern territories are under Russian occupation, but Russia has no rights to these territories,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video speech on Friday night, appealing to the international community to support Japan on this issue.

“We must take back all the lands that the Russian occupiers are trying to keep for themselves,” he said.