Amateur Radio operators try to leave politics out of our normal discourse on the air. But sometimes the urge to dive into controversy seems irresistible. Here are a few examples where geopolitical disputes get expressed in the form of Amateur Radio awards.
Japan and Russia have yet to sign a treaty ending World War II between them. One of the sticking points is the status of the Kuril Islands off the coast of Hokkaido. Russia maintains control of the island chain that stretches from Japan to the Kamchatka Peninsula. On the Japan Amateur Radio League’s All Japan Districts Award you can see one of the Russian occupied islands northeast of Hokkaido.
Radio Club Venezuela issues the Diploma Estados Venezolanos for working stations in each of the country’s states. But the map of the country looks a bit different than you might expect. The map shown includes a majority of neighboring Guyana, which Venezuela claims as Essequibo. Recent oil and gas discoveries by Guyana has brought this dispute into recent focus.
Spain has long agitated against the British enclave at Gibraltar. But Spain has its own versions of Gibraltar on the African Coast. Ceuta and Melilla (EA9), and several more smaller islands off the coast, are administered by Spain but claimed by Morocco. The Diploma Distritos EA certificate shows Ceuta on the north coast of Africa.
One of the great things about Amateur Radio is the window to the world it provides. Let’s hope that the geopolitical disputes shown above remain disagreements and do not devolve into actual conflicts.