May 6, 2011
Who would have thought? Montenegro, this tiny country in the Balkans, was officially at war with Japan until just recently — until 2006 to be precise.
This is certainly not a joke and to find out why, we must dig up some historical facts. In 1904, when the Russo-Japanese war broke out, Montenegro, to show its Slavic solidarity with Russia, declared war on Japan along with the Russian Empire. But since the country was too small and obviously too far away to cause any serious damage, it decided to send some volunteers to fight in the Russian Army.
A year later the war ended with Japanese victory. Both sides signed the official peace declaration but somehow everybody forgot to put Montenegro on the papers. And so, Montenegro and Japan remained in a technical state of war for the next hundred years.
In 2006, somebody finally remembered about the unfinished business. Japan sent a deputy foreign minister Akiko Yamanaka on a mission to Montenegro to sign a formal peace treaty declaring the war being over. This same year, Japan recognized Montenegro as an independent state.
According to the statistics, there are currently 11 Japanese nationals living in Montenegro.