Monday, September 17, 2007

Former Japanese Town Celebrates Anneversary in Luxury

The Russian town of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk celebrated its 125th anniversary this past week. And just how did they ring in the celebration?

With, "a 15-square-metre sandwich with salmon caviar... [about] ninety kilogrammes of caviar!"

Each of the residents participating in the celebration will get a section of the red, heart-shaped sandwich.

Recently Russia has been looking to establish a monopoly on the caviar market demanding that only Russian-owned corporate trawlers be able to fish in Russian lakes, and that the sale should only take place in certain specialty shops. Part of the reason for this requested monopoly is the result of overfishing in Russia in which the fish industry "plummeted forty-fold since the breakup of the Soviet Union." Caviar harvesting is an industry Russia prides.

So just what does any of this have to do with Japan? Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, formerly Toyohara, used to be the capital of the Karafuto Prefecture.
Stay with me, this gets confusing....

Initially this became a Japanese-controlled colony just before the end of the Meji era (1912) when Japan won a part of the island (on land, below 50° N) just off the east coast of mainland Russia (pictured right, highlighted red) which is the closest territory of Russia "bordering" Japan. Up until 1945 Japan maintained control of the forfeited island, but after WWII, Russia fought a weakened Japanese nation over the territory, in which case Japan relinquished control of the land. In either case the land was either lost or gained by either side as a result of war.

Controversy still surrounds the island since Japan didn't necessarily return control to Russia after Russia formally reclaimed it in 1947 and Japan was made to relinquish it in the 1952 Treaty of San Fransisco, the infamous peace treaty signed by 49 nations to officially end complications of WWII, in which Japan ultimately had to return the land in full among other territories, despite not renouncing territorial sovereignty of any.
Today this territory battle has strained Japanese-Russian relations, particularly because no peace treaty has been designated on this matter.

Read more about the anniversary celebration here.
Read more about the caviar monopoly here.
Read more about the confusing battle of territories here and here and here.
Whew, thanks Wikipedia!
This is a neat article encompassing nearly all of the issues, caviar, territorial, and otherwise, here.

If you read my article from beginning to end, leave a comment here about the color of the caviar along with your preferred email address, and I'll give you some sort of special prize of anime nature, as a reward. You do not have to be registered with Blogger to leave a comment, but if you do leave an anonymous comment, please include your screen name. Thanks!

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At Sep 17, 2007, 1:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried caviar at a party once before, it was even red too.

It just tastes like pickles to me.


At Sep 17, 2007, 3:46:00 PM, Blogger THC said...

HAPPY 20th BIRTHDAY BRO *takes a swig of wine* WHOOO XD

At Sep 17, 2007, 5:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, THC.

At Sep 17, 2007, 5:53:00 PM, Blogger Kami... said...

Japan was first trying to sign over the islands to then USSR in an non-hostilities agreement.
USSR didn't sign, and I believe if I'm correct, it was another Soviet Country that signed in their stead...
So at the time Japan thought USSR took the agreement, and was then surprised when the the islands were fortified and an attack was ensuing from the North... Thus the agreement should've been null and void.

Yet when the 1952 agreement came to pass, the USSR said that YES even though the treaty was signed by someone else, it was signed in their place so the island was rightfully theirs...

At least that's what I learned in school... in Both Japan AND Canada.

Last I heard, the islands are still in the process of how to be divided. Several ways have been suggested, total landmass, number of islands... a numbered sysytem.
Still no agreement on how to split the islands has come to pass...

At Sep 17, 2007, 6:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a very confusing issue to be sure, and I can see why it has hurt relations of both countries. I'm sure it's not even about losing the land for Japan anymore or what happened in the past, it's just about having some closure and reestablishing a good relationship with Russia which has been notwithstanding for a very, very long time!
Of course that's just my opinion.

I am really glad to hear your comments on this article, Kami. The whole post just sort of spoke to me and I began writing it and finding so much more interesting stuff along the way I could almost have made this a two and three part post!

Please be sure to take a look at the last article I link to. It suminated everything I was writing about nearly to a T.
It mentions conferences that were going on during Koizumi's term where he was talking shop with President Putin, back in 2005 where I understand this issue really got turned up again.!

If you know anything else about this post, historical, modern, or whatever, I'd personally like to know more. Japan had a big control factor in a lot of nations before WWII, and I learned a lot today about these historical events taking place after WWII I didn't know. I think this will be an important issue for a while because I'm also taking a personal interest in Japan and Russia seeing eye to eye again, however silly that sounds.


At Sep 17, 2007, 6:27:00 PM, Blogger Kami... said...

I've always been curious on the source of Japan - Brazil relations.
Portugal and Japan, I understand...
Brazil? No ideas how it started...
Many Japanese in Brazil... many Brazilians in Japan... Shintoism was brought over there along with several martial arts, then modified...
Anyone of thoughts on that?
I still remember police telling me to be careful at night when I was at school in Suzuka, because the large number of Brazilians there...

At Sep 17, 2007, 8:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, that one's pretty interesting.
I got nothing...

At Sep 24, 2007, 5:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So no one read the article all the way through?

*Is disappointed*


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