A report on Treaty of Saint Petersburg (1875)

Border changes in the Kurils

Signed on 7 May 1875, and its ratifications exchanged at Tokyo on 22 August 1875.

- Treaty of Saint Petersburg (1875)

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The Kuril Islands with Russian names. Borders of Shimoda Treaty (1855) and Treaty of St. Petersburg (1875) shown in red. Since 1945 all islands northeast of Hokkaido have been administered by Russia.

Kuril Islands dispute

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Territorial dispute between Japan and the Russian Federation over the ownership of the four southernmost Kuril Islands.

Territorial dispute between Japan and the Russian Federation over the ownership of the four southernmost Kuril Islands.

The Kuril Islands with Russian names. Borders of Shimoda Treaty (1855) and Treaty of St. Petersburg (1875) shown in red. Since 1945 all islands northeast of Hokkaido have been administered by Russia.
Disputed islands in question: Habomai Islands, Shikotan, Kunashiri (Kunashir) and Etorofu (Iturup)
Southern Kuril islands seen from the International Space Station
A 1939 map of the Pacific Rim. Dates shown indicate approximate time that the various powers gained control of their possessions
Japanese Iturup residents (then called Etorofu) and a Buddhist temple (before 1939)
Agreement regarding entry of the Soviet Union into the war against Japan
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met local residents in Yuzhno-Kurilsk, 1 November 2010
Japanese people visiting their family graves on Tanfiliev Island (Suishō-jima), one of the Habomai Islands, 2008
A protest truck confronting the Japanese police near the Russian Embassy on August 9, 2015
A van covered with slogans calling for Japanese sovereignty over the Northern Territories (北方領土), 2006
The Ainu people were the original inhabitants of the Kuril Islands

In the 1875 Treaty of Saint Petersburg, Russia and Japan agreed that Japan would give up all rights to Sakhalin in exchange for Russia giving up all rights to the Kuril Islands in favor of Japan.

Empire of Japan

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Historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 until the enactment of the post-World War II 1947 constitution and subsequent formation of modern Japan.

Historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 until the enactment of the post-World War II 1947 constitution and subsequent formation of modern Japan.

The Empire of Japan at its peak in 1942:
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The Naval Battle of Hakodate, May 1869; in the foreground, and of the Imperial Japanese Navy
The Empire of Japan at its peak in 1942:
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Prominent members of the Iwakura mission. Left to right: Kido Takayoshi, Yamaguchi Masuka, Iwakura Tomomi, Itō Hirobumi, Ōkubo Toshimichi
Emperor Meiji, the 122nd emperor of Japan
Ōura Church, Nagasaki
Interior of the Japanese Parliament, showing the Prime Minister speaking addressing the House of Peers, 1915
Prince Aritomo Yamagata, who was twice Prime Minister of Japan. He was one of the main architects of the military and political foundations of early modern Japan.
Baron Masuda Tarokaja, a member of the House of Peers (Kazoku). His father, Baron Masuda Takashi, was responsible for transforming Mitsui into a zaibatsu.
The Tokyo Industrial Exhibition, 1907 (Mitsubishi pavilion and Exhibition halls)
Marunouchi District in 1920, looking towards the Imperial Palace
A 1-yen banknote, 1881
Thomas Blake Glover was a Scottish merchant in Bakumatsu and received Japan's second highest order from Emperor Meiji in recognition of his contributions to Japan's industrialization.
Prince Katsura Tarō, thrice Prime Minister and the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan. Katsura commanded the IJA 3rd Division under his mentor, Field Marshal Yamagata Aritomo, during the First Sino-Japanese War.
Map of the Japanese Empire in 1895. This map was issued shortly after the Japanese invasion of Taiwan and is consequently one of the first Japanese maps to include Taiwan as a possession of Imperial Japan.
Marquess Komura Jutaro, 1911. Komura became Minister for Foreign Affairs under the first Katsura administration, and signed the Boxer Protocol on behalf of Japan.
French illustration of a Japanese assault on entrenched Russian troops during the Russo-Japanese War
Japanese riflemen during the Russo-Japanese War
Count Tadasu Hayashi was the resident minister to the United Kingdom. While serving in London from 1900, he worked to successfully conclude the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and signed on behalf of the government of Japan on January 30, 1902.
Port Arthur viewed from the Top of Gold Hill, after its capitulation in 1905. From left are the wrecks of Russian pre-dreadnought battleships Peresvet, Poltava, Retvizan, Pobeda and the protected cruisers Pallada
Emperor Taishō, the 123rd emperor of Japan
Topographic map of the Empire of Japan in November, 1918
Native Micronesian constables of Truk Island, circa 1930. Truk became a possession of the Empire of Japan under a mandate from the League of Nations following Germany's defeat in World War I.
Commanding Officers and Chiefs of Staff of the Allied Military Mission to Siberia, Vladivostok during the Allied Intervention
Groundbreaking ceremony of Ginza Line, the oldest subway line in Asia, 1925. Front row, right to left: Rudolf Briske, Noritsugu Hayakawa, Furuichi Kōi, Ryutaro Nomura.
Count Itagaki Taisuke is credited as being the first Japanese party leader and an important force for liberalism in Meiji Japan.
Count Katō Komei, the 14th Prime Minister of Japan from June 11, 1924, until his death on January 28, 1926
Emperor Shōwa during an Army inspection on January 8, 1938
Tokyo Kaikan was requisitioned as the meeting place for members of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association (Taisei Yokusankai) in the early days.
Japanese Pan-Asian writer Shūmei Ōkawa
Rebel troops assembling at police headquarters during the February 26 Incident
A bank run during the Shōwa financial crisis, March 1927
National Diet Building, 1930
Political map of the Asia-Pacific region, 1939
Japanese troops entering Shenyang, Northeast China during the Mukden Incident, 1931
The Japanese occupation of Peiping (Beijing) in China, on August 13, 1937. Japanese troops are shown passing from Peiping into the Tartar City through Zhengyangmen, the main gate leading onward to the palaces in the Forbidden City.
IJN Special Naval Landing Forces armed with the Type 11 Light Machine Gun during the Battle of Shanghai, 1937
Signing ceremony for the Axis Powers Tripartite Pact
Founding ceremony of the Hakkō ichiu (All the world under one roof) monument in 1940
A map of the Japanese advance from 1937 to 1942
Victorious Japanese troops march through the city center of Singapore following the city's capture in February 1942 (Photo from the Imperial War Museum)
Imperial Japanese Army paratroopers are landing during the Battle of Palembang, February 13, 1942.
A model representing the attack by dive bombers from USS Yorktown (CV-5) and USS Enterprise (CV-6) on the Japanese aircraft carriers, and in the morning of June 4, 1942, during the Battle of Midway
Group of Type 2 Ka-Mi tanks on board of 2nd class transporter of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1944–1945
The rebuilt battlecruiser sank at her moorings in the naval base of Kure on July 24 during a series of bombings.
The Japanese archipelago and the Korean Peninsula in 1945 (National Geographic)
A drawing depicting a speech in the Imperial Japanese Diet on November 1, 1945, the end of the Second World War. In the foreground there are several Allied soldiers watching the proceedings from the back of the balcony.
From left to right: Marshal Admiral Heihachirō Tōgō (1848–1934), Field Marshal Oku Yasukata (1847–1930), Marshal Admiral Yoshika Inoue (1845–1929), Field Marshal Kageaki Kawamura (1850–1926), at the unveiling ceremony of bronze statue of Field Marshal Iwao Ōyama
Population density map of the Empire of Japan (1920).
Population density map of the Empire of Japan (1940).
War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army
Naval ensign of the Empire of Japan
Flag of the Japanese Emperor

Japan made a territorial delimitation treaty with Russia in 1875, gaining all the Kuril islands in exchange for Sakhalin island.

Sakhalin

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Largest island of Russia.

Largest island of Russia.

Historical extent of the Ainu people
De Vries (1643) mapped Sakhalin's eastern promontories without realising that he had visited an island (map from 1682).
French map from 1821 showing Sakhalin as part of Qing Empire
Mamiya Rinzō described Sakhalin as an island in his map
Display of Sakhalin on maps varied throughout the 18th century. This map from a 1773 atlas, based on the earlier work by d'Anville, who in his turn made use of the information collected by Jesuits in 1709, asserts the existence of Sakhalin – but only assigns to it the northern half of the island and its northeastern coast (with Cape Patience, discovered by de Vries in 1643). Cape Aniva, also discovered by de Vries, and Cape Crillon (Black Cape) are, however, thought to form part of the mainland
La Perouse charted most of the southwestern coast of Sakhalin (or "Tchoka", as he heard natives call it) in 1787
1823 Japanese map of Karafuto and part of eastern Siberia (modern Khabarovsk Krai)
Anton Chekhov museum in Alexandrovsk-Sakhalinsky, Russia. It is the house where he stayed in Sakhalin during 1890.
Settler's way of life. Near church at holiday. 1903
Sakhalin Island with Karafuto Prefecture highlighted
Central part of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, 2009
Sakhalin and its surroundings.
Velikan Cape, Sakhalin
Zhdanko Mountain Ridge
Nivkh children in Sakhalin c. 1903
Western Gray whale near Sakhalin
Anaphalis margaritacea with peacock butterfly
A Japanese D51 steam locomotive outside the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Railway Station
A passenger train in Nogliki
At the ceremony marking the opening of a liquefied natural gas production plant built as part of the Sakhalin-2 project

The island remained under shared sovereignty until the signing of the 1875 Treaty of Saint Petersburg, in which Japan surrendered its claims in Sakhalin to Russia.

Viscount Enomoto Takeaki

Enomoto Takeaki

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Japanese samurai and admiral of the Tokugawa navy of Bakumatsu-period Japan, who remained faithful to the Tokugawa shogunate and fought against the new Meiji government until the end of the Boshin War.

Japanese samurai and admiral of the Tokugawa navy of Bakumatsu-period Japan, who remained faithful to the Tokugawa shogunate and fought against the new Meiji government until the end of the Boshin War.

Viscount Enomoto Takeaki
Enomoto in The Hague, 1864
Enomoto Takeaki in Ezo, aged 32 (c. 1868–1869)
Tomb of Enomoto Takeaki in Kisshō-ji
Close up Tomb of Enomoto Takeaki in Kisshō-ji
A statue of Enomoto Takeaki in Tokyo.

The following year, he was sent to Russia as a special envoy to negotiate the Treaty of St. Petersburg.

Ice floes off the north-eastern tip of the island.

Urup

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Uninhabited volcanic island in the Kuril Islands chain in the south of the Sea of Okhotsk, northwest Pacific Ocean.

Uninhabited volcanic island in the Kuril Islands chain in the south of the Sea of Okhotsk, northwest Pacific Ocean.

Ice floes off the north-eastern tip of the island.

Under the Treaty of Saint Petersburg of 1875, sovereignty passed to the Empire of Japan along with the rest of the Kuril islands.