February 8, 2024
TOKYO – Wednesday marks Northern Territories Day which was designated by the government to promote the movement for the return of the Russia-held four islands. The situation surrounding Japanese territory has become increasingly serious, such as by the suspension of the Japan-Russia negotiations since Russia’s aggression in Ukraine began. The Japanese government plans to boost its efforts to disseminate information concerning territorial sovereignty.
Aiming to enhance public interest in Japan’s northern territories in Hokkaido, the Takeshima Islands in Shimane Prefecture, and the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, the government plans to launch an exhibition at the National Museum of Territory and Sovereignty in Tokyo’s Kasumigaseki district. The exhibition will feature projection mapping technology to showcase powerful images and video footage, seeking to deepen the public’s understanding of Japan’s sovereignty over these territories by allowing visitors to virtually experience their rich nature and history.
In the planned exhibition, visitors will feel as if they are visiting the island through projection mapping, where images are projected onto the walls, ceiling and floor. Specifically, the exhibition aims to offer visitors the experience of feeling as if they are flying over and diving under the sea from the perspective of animals associated with each island, such as the tufted puffin in the northern territories, the sea lion in the Takeshima Islands and the albatross in the Senkaku Islands. The government hopes to launch this new exhibition by the end of the year.
In recent years, China Coast Guard ships have repeatedly intruded into Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands. Russia, which has illegally occupied the northern territories, has declared a suspension to negotiations on a Japan-Russia peace treaty. Meanwhile, South Korea’s illegal occupation of the Takeshima Islands continues.
Given this situation, the Japanese government has decided that strengthening communication on these issues is essential and has allocated related expenses in the supplementary budget for fiscal 2023 and the draft budget for fiscal 2024.
“We’d like to use the planned exhibition as an opportunity to get more of the public interested in territorial issues,” said a Japanese government official.