The Jamestown Foundation reports,
“The Japanese government’s National Institute for Polar Research (NIPR) released four reports so far this month (July 2021) outlining Tokyo’s view that Japan should be among the countries allowed to exploit the oil and natural gas resources lying below the surface in Antarctica and to make territorial claims there once the current treaty regime expires or is modified (Nipr.ac.jp cited by Rambler, July 24). That has sparked outrage in Moscow. Russian commentaries have characterized the NIPR proposals as a threat to Russian rights in the Antarctic; as a challenge to the 1959 international accord that governs the activities of countries there; as a new move on the geopolitical chessboard intended to put pressure on Moscow to sign a peace treaty with Tokyo and return the Kurile Islands; and even as a trial balloon to test out analogous plans the United States may try to employ against Russia in the Arctic in the immediate future (Izvestia, Politros.com, iReactor, Ren.tv, July 24; Expert.ru, July 25).”
The entire article is kind of intriguing in that it discusses how the Russians seem to see the U.S. conspiring against them in the actions of our allies, but for me, this is more evidence that we will see an attempt to open Antarctica to economic exploitation well before the expiration of the current treaty system in 2048.