Русский | | 18 November 2005, 15:15
Orthodox chapel is being build
on a disputed Kuril island

Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, November 18, Interfax - Some Japanese called a decision to build an Orthodox chapel on the Suisho islet that is one of the Habomai group of the Kuril chain 'a provocative act'.

Staffs of an exhibition centre of the so called Northern Territories on the Japan's Hokkaido Island say they noticed the beginning of construction of a chapel on November 8. A week later, the building was near completion, and a cross was erected on the roof, Yomiuri paper reported Friday.

'Nobody lives on Suisho Island, and there is no reason for a religious building there. It is a provocation carried out on the eve of Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit,' deputy director Hirokazu Suzuki of an organization of residents of the disputed islands said.

Meanwhile, the Russians are even more inclined to share an opinion that the Kuril Islands must belong to Russia and think that the decision should not be postponed. Compromise agreement finds even less supporters.

These are the conclusions of sociologists of the Pubic Opinion Foundation published in Moscow.

Answering a question about the conditions on which Russia should insist, the respondents often choose the answer 'the disputed Kuril Islands should belong to Russia, while Japan should renounce them' (67%). In 2001, 54% of the respondents shared this opinion.

The Russians choose a 'the disputed Kuril Islands should be governed jointly by Russia and Japan during a lengthy period' compromise agreement twice as less as in 1999 (18% - 9%).

A few supported the proposal to postpone the decision for a 'distant future', and the number of supporters decreased (9% in 1999, 10% in 2001, and 4% in 2005).

6% are for the position 'Japan must buy back the islands from Russia for big money'(8% in 1999 and 6% in 2001).