OREANDA-NEWS Japan protested to Russia through diplomatic channels in Moscow over the construction of dormitories for the military and their families in the Kuril Islands of Kunashir and Iturup, which Tokyo considers its territory.

"This will lead to the strengthening of Russia's military presence in the Northern territories, which is contrary to the position of our country," the Kyodo Agency quotes the note.

"Northern territories" in Japan are called the four Islands of the southern Kurils: Kunashir, Iturup, Shikotan and Habomai.

As previously reported, four dormitories were built in Iturup and Kunashir, in which 188 families of military contractors of the Eastern military district will move by the end of the year. Two of the same dormitories were inhabited in 2017, three more — two on Iturup and one on Kunashir — will be built in 2019. Also on both Islands are built and operate modern heated storage for weapons and military equipment. Another is preparing to enter into operation on Kunashir.

According to the press service of the Eastern military district, within the framework of the development of military and social infrastructure on the Islands of Iturup and Kunashir, it is planned to build and reconstruct more than 200 different objects, including military facilities, houses, canteens, schools, sports complexes. All military units of the district on the Kuril Islands are fully staffed by military personnel under the contract.

Relations between Russia and Japan for many years overshadows the absence of a peace Treaty. Japan claims the Islands of Kunashir, Shikotan, Iturup, and Habomai, citing a bilateral Treatise on trade and borders of 1855. In 1956, the USSR and Japan signed a Joint Declaration in which Moscow agreed to consider the possibility of transferring Habomai and Shikotan to Japan after the conclusion of a peace Treaty, and the fate of Kunashir and Iturup was not affected. The USSR hoped that the Joint Declaration would put an end to the dispute, while Japan considered the document only part of the solution to the problem, without giving up claims to all the Islands. Subsequent negotiations did not lead to anything, the peace Treaty at the end of the Second World War was not signed. Moscow's position is that the Islands became part of the USSR following the Second World War and the sovereignty of the Russian Federation over them is beyond doubt.

On November 14, a summit meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was held in Singapore. Following the meeting, the Japanese Prime Minister said that the parties agreed to accelerate the negotiation process on the Peace Treaty on the basis of The joint Soviet-Japanese Declaration of 1956. Until now, the official position of Japan was to demand the return of the four Islands of Kunashir, Iturup, Shikotan, Habomai, and only after that — the conclusion of a Oeace Treaty.