Press release №2140
31.01.2019
TERRITORIAL DISPUTE IN RUSSIAN-JAPANESE TALKS: OPINIONS OF THE KURIL ISLANDS RESIDENTS

IN BRIEF

  • 99% of the Kuril residents are aware of the claim to return the southern islands back to Japan
  • Most of respondents (93%) oppose the handover
  • 86% believe that there is no point in continuing negotiating with Japan

An absolute majority of the Kuril residents oppose the handover of the islands to Japan. They say that this dispute is over.

MOSCOW, January 31, 2019. Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the data of a study devoted to the attitudes of the residents of the Kuril Islands towards Japan’s claims to the Kuril Islands.

An overwhelming majority of the Kuril residents (99%) are aware that Japan claims the handover of the four southern Kuril Islands; this share is 79% among the total Russian population.

Regarding the handover of the southern Kurils to Japan, the Kuril residents share the same opinion: 93% of respondents consider that the Japan’s claims are unjustified (this share is lower among Russians in general, 77%).

Besides that, 86% of respondents believe that there is no point in discussing the territorial issue with Japan as the dispute was solved long time ago.

According to the majority of the Kuril residents (89%), Russia should not transfer any of the disputed islands.

Survey among the Kuril Islands inhabitants was conducted on January 29, 2019. Residents of the Kuril Islands aged 18 and over took part in the survey. The survey was telephone-based and carried out using random sampling (207 respondents) from a complete list of landline and mobile phone numbers operating on the Kuril Islands. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 6.8%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.

On November 29, 2018, a nationwide VCIOM-Sputnik survey was conducted.

Let us talk about Russia-Japan relationship and the so-called Kuril issue. Are you aware that Japan claims the handover of four southern Kuril islands, or not? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  Russia’s population (survey of 26.11.18) Population of the Kuril Islands
Yes. I am aware 79 99
No, I am not aware 20 1
Don’t know 1 0

 

In your opinion, should Russia transfer the southern Kuril islands to Japan to sign a peace treaty and to develop the bilateral relations?  (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  Russia’s population  (survey of 26.11.18) Population of the Kuril Islands
Definitely yes 4 1
Rather yes 10 2
Rather not 31 15
Definitely not 46 78
Don’t know 9 4

  

In your opinion, should Russia continue discussing the Kuril issue with Japan, or do you think that this issue has long been solved, and there is nothing to talk about?  (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  Population of the Kuril Islands (survey of 26.11.18) Population of the Kuril Islands
Russia should continue negotiations on the  Kurils 26 10
This issue has long been solved; there is nothing to talk about   68 86
Don’t know 6 4

  

In your opinion, how the Russian authorities should act in this context?  (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  Population of the Kuril Islands
To hand over the four Kuril Islands   2
To hand over to Japan only two of the four Kuril Islands  2
Not to transfer any disputed islands to Japan 89
Don’t know 7
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!
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