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Forum LockedThe interesting history of Sakhalin

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    Posted: 13-Mar-2006 at 23:44

The large but frigid island of Sakhalin in the North Pacific is considered to be part of the Russian Federation even though the island, together with the nearby Kuril islands, is disputed by both Russia and Japan. Today, the majority of the population are the Russians, followed by the Koreans (descendants of those brought to the island by the Japanese by force during WWII to work on the coal mines), and some native inhabitants (consisting of Nivhs, Ainus, Orochons, Evenks, and Yakuts).

Interestingly, the question of who "owns" Sakhalin actually has a longer history that started with neither the Russians nor the Japanese.  

First of all, the name "Sakhalin" is in fact an European misinterpretation of a Machu name sahaliyan ula angga hada (peak of the mouth of Amur River). Sahaliyan means black in Manchu and refers to Amur River (sahaliyan ula). It also has an Ainu name, Karafuto Its (̫) or Krafto, and was restored to the island by the Japanese during their occupation of the southern part of the island from 1905 to 1945. The Chinese, during the Ming Dynasty, called the island Kuyi (), and later (until now) it's known as Kuye ().

The original inhabitants of Sakhalin were the Xianbei (r) tribe. The island was under formal Chinese rule from the Jin Dynasty onwards. Subsequently both the Ming Empire and the Qing Empire also claimed sovereignty over the island. However, since the Chinese did not have a permanent military presence on the island, both the Japanese and the Russians had made attempts to annex the island. In 1679, the Japanese established the settlement of Ootomari. 

As the result of the Nerchinsk Treaty signed between Russia and China in 1689, Sakhalin was reaffirmed as Chinese territory. However, Russia violated the treaty and started sending troops (made up of convicts) to it from the 18th century onwards.  

In 1845, Japan unilaterally proclaimed sovereignty over the island which they have since called, together with the Kuril islands, the Japanese Far North.  In 1849, however, the Russians, in defiance of the Qing claim,, started settling and buidling infrastructure on the island. In 1885, the Russians and the Japanese signed the Tready of Shimoda in which they agreed to informally "divide" the island between themselves without a clear boundary - the Russians would occupy the north and the Japanese the south. As the result of the signing of the unequal Beijing Treaty in 1860 between Russia and China, the latter was forced to relinquish all its territories north of Amur (Heilongjian) and east of Ussuri, including Sakhalin, to Russia, hence formally ending Chinese rule over the island.

Japan ceded the southern part of Sakhalin to Russia in 1875 after the signing of the Treaty of Saint Petersburg in exchange for the Kuril Islands. But the Treaty of Portsmouth, signed again by the two countries in 1905 as a result of the defeat of Russia by the Japanese in the Russo-Japanese War, reverted the southern part of the island to Japan.   

Towards the end of WWII, the Soviet Union invaded the entire Sakhalin before the surrender of Japan. Since then, the island has been officially integrated as part of the Russian Federation. In 1952, Japan finally renounced its claims of sovereignity over Southern Sakhalin in the Treaty of San Francisco but it did not recognize Russian sovereignty. Today on Japanese maps, Sakhalin, together with the Kuril islands, are still marked as no man's land.

The status of the island, together with that of the Kurils, remains to be one of the most tense issues in Russo-Japanese relations.

Which country should the island belong to? Russia? Japan? or even China?

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakhalin

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flyingzone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Mar-2006 at 23:49

Where is Sakhalin?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakhalin

Location of Sakhalin in the Western Pacific.ea_of_Okhotsk_map.png>

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Charioteer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2006 at 00:31

Claim sovereignty needs ones actual strength to hold on to that claim. In this case both Ming&Qing's claim of the island are distant and null attempt, they were rather nominal claims rather than practical.

From the Chinese perspective, this has to do with Ming's shrinking foreign policy & strategical measure, coped with the constant real threat posed by the Mongols ever since the founding of the dynasty and onwards. with also later the Manchu's uprising and taking control of China, which whos close door policy even surpassed that of Ming.

In the general, China was losing its predominance to global competitors presented by the rising Western powers, which subsequently also included the expansing Russians and the revolutionized Japanese.

And it is best for China to leave the sovereignty issue of KuYe island to the Russian&Japanese nowadays.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flyingzone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2006 at 10:08
Agreed. I mentioned "China" only for "amusement". The dispute over Sakhalin is mainly between Russia and Japan. Any insight on how to resolve this dispute between the two countries? I think Japan has more or less given up the idea of "reclaiming" Sakhalin, but is still quite insistent on its sovereignity over the Kuril Islands (a major point of conflict between the two countries). Which side's claim of sovereignty over those islands has more legitimacy?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Charioteer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Mar-2006 at 00:06

Its best for Russia to drag the issue on indefinately until it thinks the bargain that made out of any possible backdown regarding the sovereignty issue of Sakhalin island on their parts with the Japanese is worthy. thats may be to hold it indefinately, Which may be the reason why "Japan has more or less given up the idea of "reclaiming" Sakhalin".

"Russia has indicated that they'll agree to give Shikotan and Habomai group back to Japan but still wish to retain Etorofu and Kunashiri". it seems the case with "northern 4 islands"(of Kuril Islands) is relatively flexible.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shigintang Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-May-2006 at 01:50
Originally posted by flyingzone flyingzone wrote:

The large but frigid island of Sakhalin in the North Pacific is considered to be part of the Russian Federation even though the island, together with the nearby Kuril islands, is disputed by both Russia and Japan. Today, the majority of the population are the Russians, followed by the Koreans (descendants of those brought to the island by the Japanese by force during WWII to work on the coal mines), and some native inhabitants (consisting of Nivhs, Ainus, Orochons, Evenks, and Yakuts).

Interestingly, the question of who "owns" Sakhalin actually has a longer history that started with neither the Russians nor the Japanese.  

First of all, the name "Sakhalin" is in fact an European misinterpretation of a Machu name sahaliyan ula angga hada (peak of the mouth of Amur River). Sahaliyan means black in Manchu and refers to Amur River (sahaliyan ula). It also has an Ainu name, Karafuto Its (̫) or Krafto, and was restored to the island by the Japanese during their occupation of the southern part of the island from 1905 to 1945. The Chinese, during the Ming Dynasty, called the island Kuyi (), and later (until now) it's known as Kuye ().

The original inhabitants of Sakhalin were the Xianbei (r) tribe. The island was under formal Chinese rule from the Jin Dynasty onwards. Subsequently both the Ming Empire and the Qing Empire also claimed sovereignty over the island. However, since the Chinese did not have a permanent military presence on the island, both the Japanese and the Russians had made attempts to annex the island. In 1679, the Japanese established the settlement of Ootomari. 

As the result of the Nerchinsk Treaty signed between Russia and China in 1689, Sakhalin was reaffirmed as Chinese territory. However, Russia violated the treaty and started sending troops (made up of convicts) to it from the 18th century onwards.  

In 1845, Japan unilaterally proclaimed sovereignty over the island which they have since called, together with the Kuril islands, the Japanese Far North.  In 1849, however, the Russians, in defiance of the Qing claim,, started settling and buidling infrastructure on the island. In 1885, the Russians and the Japanese signed the Tready of Shimoda in which they agreed to informally "divide" the island between themselves without a clear boundary - the Russians would occupy the north and the Japanese the south. As the result of the signing of the unequal Beijing Treaty in 1860 between Russia and China, the latter was forced to relinquish all its territories north of Amur (Heilongjian) and east of Ussuri, including Sakhalin, to Russia, hence formally ending Chinese rule over the island.

Japan ceded the southern part of Sakhalin to Russia in 1875 after the signing of the Treaty of Saint Petersburg in exchange for the Kuril Islands. But the Treaty of Portsmouth, signed again by the two countries in 1905 as a result of the defeat of Russia by the Japanese in the Russo-Japanese War, reverted the southern part of the island to Japan.   

Towards the end of WWII, the Soviet Union invaded the entire Sakhalin before the surrender of Japan. Since then, the island has been officially integrated as part of the Russian Federation. In 1952, Japan finally renounced its claims of sovereignity over Southern Sakhalin in the Treaty of San Francisco but it did not recognize Russian sovereignty. Today on Japanese maps, Sakhalin, together with the Kuril islands, are still marked as no man's land.

The status of the island, together with that of the Kurils, remains to be one of the most tense issues in Russo-Japanese relations.

Which country should the island belong to? Russia? Japan? or even China?

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakhalin



It should be Korean, Japanese, Russian, but Not Chinese.

Jin State (Golden State) was established by ancestors of Koreans and Jurchens. Qing Manchus were subjects of Koreans for several thousand years until they conquered China. 

Therefore, whatever the Jurchens (Jin State) had and Qing Manchu's had can be that of  Korean  Manchu, but not Chinese.  Unless the Manchus  become independent again as at the time of Manchu Guo (Pre-Qing and after collapse of Qing), and make a claim, Korea and Japan should be the proper claimant, after Russia. Chinese had nothing to do with Jurchen or Manchu's lost claim because the Chinese were only one of the subjugated people.

Nechinsk treat was between Qing State and Russia, not between China and Russia.  Qing state claimed later adopted the "central kingdom: Zhong Guo". But that has nothing to do with Zhong Guo of Ming or PRC.

In fact, the Manchus must come back to Korean brothers, as before.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-May-2006 at 17:35
Might makes right when it comes to territory.  Therefore Sakhalin is Russian because Russia conquered it and has held it.  Plus most peple there are Russians so that naturally makes the most sense.
 
Only the southernmost of the Kuriles belong to Japan.  That is because of a treaty technicality that never ceded them to Russia or anyone therefore they still can be argued to belong to Japan.  However it doesnt really matter as no one lives there.
 
Thanks for the artilce though, I have always for some unfathomable reason been intrested in Sakhalin island and would like to go.  Especially to see the old government buildings of differnet countries. 
"the people are nothing but a great beast...
I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value."
-Alexander Hamilton
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