In February 7, 2018, the so-called "Day of Northern Territories", established by the Japanese government, was held in Japan once again. Traditionally, meetings were held in the center of Tokyo where the Prime Minister of Japan spoke with assurances to exert maximum efforts for the speedy return of the "Northern Islands" to Japan.
The Japanese government annually, with the assistance of public organizations, hold the Northern Territories Month to draw the attention of the public to the territorial issue. 2018 is no exception. Mass events were organized in many prefectures, such as the festival "Northern Territories - 2018", an exhibition dedicated to the Day of Northern Territories, various congresses of senior pupils and residents of Japanese cities.
Meanwhile, on February 6, the press service of the Eastern Military District of the Russian Defense Ministry announced the launch of anti-terrorist exercises in the Kuril Islands. The exercise involved 2 thousand military personnel and about 500 units of vehicle and aircraft, including Mi-8 TVK helicopters.
The military had to work out counteraction to conditional gangs of terrorists. The tactical stage of the exercises presupposed the landing of a helicopter-assault group on one of the islands.
The exercises of the Russian military on Kuril Islands aroused indignation of the Japanese side. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan declared its protest to Moscow. According to Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, the actions of the Russian side are contrary to Tokyo's position with respect to the four northern islands (the southern part of the Kuril archipelago).
The Russian Ministry of Defense, which demonstrated the indisputability of Russian sovereignty over the islands of the Kuril Ridge by conducting antiterrorist exercises on the Northern Territories Day (February 7), was supported the Russian educational department.
While the Japanese government is engaged in propaganda and agitation related to unreasonable territorial claims, on February 7, 2018, lectures on the so-called "Northern Territories" were held in the educational institutions of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.
In the secondary school named after Lieutenant-General Valery Asapov for middle and high school students, the council chairman of the Sakhalin regional branch of the all-Russian youth movement "Young Russia" Ruslan Ten led a lecture on "Northern Territories or South Kuril Islands".
During the lecture, he reminded the students of the history of Kuril Islands discovery and spoke about the peculiarities of relations with neighboring Japan on the issues of belonging of the islands.
The issue of belonging of the southern Kurils remains a stumbling block, preventing the conclusion of a peace treaty between Russia and Japan following the Second World War. The Japanese side claims to the islands of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and a group of Habomai Islands.
The Russian side has repeatedly stated that its sovereignty over South Kuril Islands territories has a corresponding international legal formulation and is not in doubt.