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It seems clear that Japan will never get back all four islets or groups of islets north of Hokkaido (aka the Northern Territories). Therefore, I don’t see the point of continually insisting on their return. How many times can Russia say no?

It is my understanding that Russia offered to return two of them under a 1956 agreement. Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned this agreement recently, I believe.

So, why can’t Japan accept Russia’s offer and be done with it? It’s all Japan will ever get.

On a separate issue, I believe it’s a fundamental right in a democracy to say “no” to a proposal. I find it unbelievable that former Democratic Party of Japan chief Ichiro Ozawa and his supporters are being punished politically for opposing a tax hike that the DPJ had promised not to introduce for four years.

To quote Adolf Hitler of all people: “What good fortune for those in power, that people don’t think!”

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

christopher glen

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