The territorial dispute over Kuril islands referred to as the Southern Kurils by Russia and the Northern Territories by Japan have soured relations between the two countries for decades. It has contributed to their failure to sign a peace treaty. The issue of the Kurils is one of the most striking examples of the complexity of international relations. Three generations of Japanese lived on these lands and were resettled after the end of World War II. Today the third generation of Russians inhabit the islands and do not plan to leave despite the severe climate and logistics. When viewed from Kunashir, the snow-capped mountains of Japan rise on the horizon, but there is no regular passenger service connecting the two worlds. For Japan, the issue of returning the South Kuril Islands is of great domestic political importance: fish resources and deposits of rhenium — a rare element that is used in electronics and is in high demand in Japan. For Russia Kurils are a strategic point. Control of the islands ensures Russia has year-round access to the Pacific Ocean for its Pacific Fleet.