This Tiny, Abandoned Slice of Japan Belongs to Russia

Sora News 24 encountered a rumor that a particular plot of land in the city of Nagasaki was Russian territory. It sent a reporter to investigate and found a clump of abandoned shacks. What was the purpose of this place?

It turns out that the imperial government of Japan gave it to, well, the imperial government of Russia in 1875, when the Russians wanted a consulate in Nagasaki to promote their business interests. Thirty years later, there was some unpleasantness between the two nations, but the block remained in use by Russia until the fall of the Tsar in 1917. Then it was abandoned.

In 1987, the Soviet Union wanted to make use of the area and Japan granted Moscow extraterritorial control of it. Nothing came of the grant, though, and the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. The Japanese government recognized Russia as the legitimate successor of the Soviet Union and, in 1994, the Russian ambassador to Japan had a sign placed on a wall in the plot asserting Russian control.

Sora News 24, though, found only one inhabitant--a cat.

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