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Overview of awareness-raising projects
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1. Promotion of the Campaign for the Return of the Northern Territories
In addition to securing systematic and continuous cooperation with prefectural councils for the irredentist movement, which are set up nationwide, the Association works closely with private organizations engaged in that movement and supports their activities, such as conventions, lectures, workshops, petition campaigns, and the distribution of educational materials.
Beginning of the petition campaign seeking the return of the Northern Territories
On August 15, 1965, in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the end of the war, a petition campaign seeking the return of the Northern Territories began. The League of Residents of Chishima and Habomai Islands, which is composed of former islanders, played a leading role in the campaign. With the understanding of youth organizations, women's organizations, and labor organizations to expand this campaign nationwide, it has eventually become a nationwide grassroots movement.
Petition to the Diet
On March 28, 1972, a petition group headed by Ryosuke Yamashita, then-chairman of the League of Residents of Chishima and Habomai Islands, petitioned the Diet for the first time to promote the return of the Northern Territories, presenting a signature ledger containing the wishes of one million people nationwide. Since that year, signatures have been submitted to the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors as a petition to the Diet.
Signatures reached a cumulative 91 million at the end of December 2018. Until the realization of the return of the Northern Territories, petition campaigns will be conducted throughout the country as part of the Campaign for the Return of the Northern Territories.
Signature ledger of the Campaign for the Return of the Northern Territories
We ask for your signature.
Note: When printing out the signature ledger, don’t reduce or enlarge it; print is as it is.
2. Promotion of a movement for people to see and know about the Northern Territories
To further deepen the understanding and awareness of those who visit the Northern Territories, the Association has established Hoppo-kan Northern Museum, Betsukai Northern Observation Tower and the Rausu Kunashiri Observation Tower,which show related materials and promote a movement for people to see and know about the Northern Territories.
3. The enlightenment of young people and educators
To ensure that the irredentist movement is passed on to young people, who will shape the future, the Association organizes training, exchange meetings, and speech contests for junior high, high school, and university students nationwide in order to deepen understanding and awareness of the Northern Territories issue, and establishes educator councils as part of environmental improvement to enhance Northern Territories education, organizing workshops for educators.
1) Northern Regions Exchange Program for Boys and Girls
The Association has implemented the Northern Regions Exchange Program for Boys and Girls every year since 1971. Under this program, the third and fourth generations (junior high school students) of former residents of the Northern Territories living in one city and four towns close to the Northern Territories (Nemuro City, Betsukai Town, Nakashibetsu Town, Shibetsu Town, Rausu Town) are invited to Tokyo during the summer vacation to visit the Prime Minister and other ministers and plead for the urgent resolution of the Northern Territories issue. They also deepen understanding and awareness of the Northern Territories issue through interactions with other boys and girls of the same generation.
Courtesy visits to:
Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs
2) Youth and Educator Onsite Workshop
As former islanders, who are at the core of the Campaign for the Return of the Northern Territories, become older, it is important for young people to understand and recognize this issue correctly. The Association, therefore, holds the Youth and Educator Onsite Workshop in Hokkaido’s Nemuro, the starting point of the campaign, in order to educate junior high school students nationwide and provide information on the Northern Territories issue to teachers in charge of social studies, so that those teachers can use such information for classes on the Northern Territories issue.
- Visit to the Northern Territories (from Cape Nosappu)
- Lecture by a former islander (the state of the island at that time, and nostalgia)
- Lecture on demands regarding the Northern Territories
- Creation of a wall newspaper featuring Northern Territories (youth)
- Lesson planning (educators)
3) Northern Territories Seminar
To vitalize the Campaign for the Return of the Northern Territories as a national movement that transcends generations, it is necessary to gain the interest and understanding of the younger generation about the Northern Territories issues and to educate a wide range of generations. The Association, therefore, holds the Northern Territories Seminar in Nemuro, Hokkaido, with the participation of university students from around the nation.
- A visit to the Northern Territories (from Cape Nosappu)
- A lecture on the Northern Territories by an expert on relations between Japan and Russia
- A lecture by a former islander (the state of the island at that time, and nostalgia)
- Group work and presentation
4) Speech contest on the Northern Territories
For the further enhancement of Northern Territories education, the Association holds an annual national speech contest on the Northern Territories for junior high school students nationwide so that young people will regard the Northern Territories issue as a familiar one, take an interest in the issue, and correctly understand the history of the Northern Territories. Speech at the final selection round
4. Dissemination of information to the general public
To foster interest in the Northern Territories issue, influence public opinion, and actively provide opportunities for young people and people who have not participated in the initiatives of the Association, a Northern Territories promotional character has been created:Erika-chan,an animated female tufted puffin (etopirika). She promotes various projects, such as awareness-raising events and publicity on social networking services.
5. The creation and distribution of Northern Territories awareness-raising materials
To foster a proper understanding and recognition of the Northern Territories issue, the Association creates and distributes awareness-raising materials such as pamphlets, posters, and teaching materials.Download