Russians consider the Kuril Islands dispute settled and oppose their transfer to Japan.MOSCOW, January 28, 2019. Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the data of a study devoted to the attitudes of Russians towards the return of the Kuril Islands to Japan.
Most of Russians (79%) are aware that Japan wants the return of four southern Kuril Islands.
Three-quarters (77%) of respondents oppose the transfer of the islands to Japan. They say that the issue is solved and the islands belong to Russia (29%). Every tenth (10%) states that Russia won back these islands. Fourteen percent of respondents say that the southern Kuril Islands should be transferred to Japan in order to sign a peace treaty between the two countries (7%).
More and more Russians think that Russia should negotiate with Japan on the Kuril Islands for as long as needed to come to a mutual decision (an increase from 35% in 2009 to 51% in 2018). A minority supports hasty signing of peace treaty which would possibly harm Russia’s interest as well as termination of cooperation with Japan on this issue (13%, for each).
VCIOM-Sputnik survey was conducted on November 26, 2018. The survey involved 1,600 Russians aged 18 and over. The survey was telephone-based and was carried out using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of landline and mobile phone numbers operating in Russia. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 2.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.
The 2009 results are based on household surveys.
|Are you aware that Japan seeks to return four southern Kuril Islands from Russia? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)|
|Yes, I am aware||79|
|No, I am not aware||20|
|In your opinion, should Russia transfer the southern Kurils to Japan aiming to sign a peace treaty and develop bilateral cooperation? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)|
|In your opinion, why is it important to transfer the southern Kurils to Japan? (open-ended question, up to three answers, % of those who consider that Russia should transfer the southern Kurils to Japan; shown are answers of at least 1% of respondents)|
|% of those who consider that Russia should transfer the southern Kurils to Japan|
|Relations with Japan are important; peace treaty is necessary/opportunity to build mutually beneficial relations||7|
|Being part of Japan these islands will be developing/Islanders wild live better||2|
|These islands initially belonged to Japan||1|
|Opportunity to establish economic cooperation/exchange of technologies/Russian economy will improve||1|
|We do not need these islands: there is no benefit/we do not use them||1|
|We have a large territory; Japan does not have too much land and is overpopulated||1|
|We can sell the islands and gain benefit||1|
|In your opinion, why should Russia not transfer the Southern Kurils to Japan? (open-ended question, up to three answers, % of those who consider that Russia should not transfer the Southern Kurils to Japan; shown are answers of at least 1% of respondents)|
|% of those who consider that Russia should NOT transfer the southern Kurils to Japan|
|The dispute is solved; the islands belong to Russia||29|
|We won these islands back||10|
|Russia should not lose its territory||7|
|This may launch an irreversible process of boundaries revision||7|
|Those islands is strategically important||5|
|There is a risk that the U.S.A could establish NATO bases there||5|
|It is a rich area||4|
|Russians live there||2|
|Distrust towards Japan||2|
|We need to keep on negotiating/possible transfer of islands under a lease agreement||2|
|There is no peace treaty and there will not be any peace treaty||2|
|The area is too big||0|
|Partial transfer is possible||0|
|In your opinion, what policy should Russia pursue in negotiations on the Kuril Islands? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)|
|Keeping on negotiating with Japan even if it takes time; the most important thing is to come to a mutual agreement||34||51|
|Ending the negotiation as soon as possible to get the dispute resolved even if the final decision is contradictory||14||13|
|Stopping negotiation with Japan, ignoring Japanese requirements and proposals||25||13|
|Postponing the negotiation for 15 to 20 year leaving it for future generations||10||15|
Note: Using materials from the site www.wciom.ru or wciom.com, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory!