Recently the NHK News reported the following:
Inside the Russia government, the senior official of the ministry that was responsible for the local development of the four islands off Hokkaido had expressed the idea of increasing sharply the exploration expenditure up to 2015 for the four islands off Hokkaido etc; and would continue it after the presidential election next year, showing a positive posture regarding the development of four islands off Hokkaido as a territory of Russia.
This was what had been said on the 4th in Khabarovsk of Russian Far East by the Russia's Vice-Minister Panoff of the ministry responsible for area development. In this, Vice-Minister Panoff expressed the idea to assign an additional amount of 10,500 million rubles (it would be a little more than 24 billion yen in the Japanese yen) by 2015 as the budget for infrastructure construction, for example in the four islands off Hokkaido. The Russia government for eight years from 2007 to 2015 had been advancing the enterprise in the four island off Hokkaido etc. of developing harbor facilities and airports, and in it, the collective development of road and infrastructure linkage; if this additional provision was realized, the total amount of development budget would exceed 70 billion yen. In Russia, the expressed idea was that Prime Minister Putin would stand as a candidate for the presidential election in March next year; the view that believing in his success in the election was wide spread. The remarks by Vice-Minister Panoff this time was regarded as to show the posture that the Russia government would positively continue to tackle the development of the four islands off Hokkaido, even if there were changes in the political power.
Like it or not, Japan has to face the reality that Russia is controlling and developing the four islands.