Mr. Kono, Minister of Northern Affairs of Okinawa, exchanged views with the former islanders of the Northern Territories

Mr. Kono, Minister of Northern Affairs of Okinawa, exchanged views with the former islanders of the Northern Territories on September 27 at 12:14 p.m.

Mr. Kono, Minister for Okinawa and Northern Affairs, visited Nakashibetsu Town, Hokkaido, exchanged opinions with former islanders in the Northern Territories, and expressed his thoughts on improving the environment for the resolution of territorial issues, based on his experience in negotiating a peace treaty with Russia as Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Kono, Minister for Okinawa and Northern Affairs, visited Hokkaido for the first time since taking office and exchanged opinions with former islanders of the Northern Territories at Nakashibetsu Town Office.

In this, Minister Kono said, “The issue of the Northern Territories has been negotiated by my grandfather Ichiro Kono, former Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and I have also negotiated with the Russian side as Minister of Foreign Affairs. We’ve decided to start from a different angle this time, but we’d like to take your feedback seriously.”

In response, Mikio Waki, president of the Chishima Toothmai Islands Residents’ Federation, which is made by former islanders, said, “As soon as I took office, we had a place to exchange opinions. Today, our successors are also participating, so we would like to hear their thoughts,” he said, and requested smooth implementation of exchange projects such as grave visits and free visits by former islanders, as well as support for awareness-raising activities by the younger generation.

In the afternoon, Minister Kono will visit Nemuro City to inspect the Northern Territories from Cape Nosabu.