A summit meeting between Japan and Russia took place on January 22. At the press conference following the meeting, Prime Minister Abe and President Putin emphasized that they are aiming for a mutually acceptable solution regarding the territorial issue and intend to further deepen cooperative relations between the two countries, mainly in economic areas.
Since Prime Minister Abe announced at the Japan-Russia Summit Meeting held in Singapore on November 14, 2018 that he had reached an agreement with President Putin to accelerate negotiations on a peace treaty based on the Japanese-Soviet Joint Declaration signed in 1956, the two leaders have met in three straight months and have accelerated negotiations on a peace treaty as indicated in the Prime Minister’s comments. This column looks back at previous negotiations between Japan and Russia and addresses a few points regarding how negotiations might proceed.
1 Background to the territorial problem
The primary reason that Japan and Russia have not concluded a peace treaty more than 70 years after the war ended is the lack of a solution to the territorial problem between the two countries. Let’s start by briefly reviewing the background of the territorial problem between Japan and Russia.
The Soviet Union’s entry into the fight against Japan at the end of the Second World War was the primary cause of the territorial problem between Japan and Russia. The United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union concluded the Yalta Conference Agreement in February 1945 as the outcome of combat on the European front was becoming evident, and the Soviet Union agreed to enter the battle against Japan within 2-3 months after Germany’s defeat on the condition that it acquire the southern half of Sakhalin, which was lost in the Russo-Japanese War, and the Kuril Islands (the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between Japan and Russia in 1855 put the national boundary for Japan and Russia between Etorofu and Uruppu islands and the Treaty of Saint Petersburg (Karafuto-Chishima Exchange Treaty) in 1875 gave all of the Kurils through northernmost Shumshu island to Japan). Additionally, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union met in Potsdam in July 1945 and issued the Potsdam Declaration signed by the US, the UK, and the Republic of China (the Soviet Union signed the the Declaration on August 8, 1945) that called on Japan to surrender. However, since Japan did not respond to the Potsdam Declaration, the Soviet Union ignored the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact, which was still valid at that time, and declared war against Japan. It started attacking Manchuria and the Kuril Islands on August 9. The Soviet Union continued its attack even after Japan accepted the Potsdam Declaration and occupied the Kuril Islands, including the four islands just north of Hokkaido between August 28 and September 5. It absorbed these islands as its own territory in February 1946. These events led to the Northern Territories problem that continues to the present.
NOTE: This paper has been published in the Japan Institute of International Affairs. Opinions expressed in this article are those of the Author.
threat to future populations’ food security due to the way we eat and produce food: "Eat Plants, Save the Planet", by Tharanga Yakupitiyage.
- While the modern agricultural system has helped stave off famines and feed the world’s 7 billion residents, the way we eat and produce food is posing a threat to future populations’ food security. With an expected increase in population to 10 billion in 2050, ensuring food security is more important than ever. However, current food production is among the largest sources of environmental degradation across the world. f such production and consumption patterns continue, we will soon exceed our planetary boundaries such climate change and land use needed to survive and thrive. [more]
The Society for Tantric Studies invites papers for its next conference, to be held in Flagstaff, Arizona from Friday September 27 through Sunday September 29, 2019. The conference provides an opportunity for scholars to collaborate across traditional boundaries of religious traditions (e.g. Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism), present-day nation-states and geography (e.g. India, Tibet, China, Japan), and academic disciplines (e.g. history of religions, anthropology, art history, linguistics, sociology). More info: The Society for Tantric Studies
We have received by snail mail the Newsletter for Research in Chinese Studies, 146 (May 2018 - vol. 37, no. 2), a hard copy quarterly published by the Center for Chinese Studies (CCS) of Taiwan (The Republic of China). The journal is published in Chinese and subtitled in English.
In this issue: Summary of Research, Introduction of Materials, Book Review, Conference Reports, News from Academia.
To answer the question "what is happening in Eurasia?" the simply put conclusion is that China is restructuring the international order by utilizing "One Belt One Road" (OBOR), aiming to achieve Pax Sinica. Many mass media in Japan love to introduce this OBOR as an economic initiative. The economic aspect, however, is just a part of the OBOR.
Mr. Xi Jinping of China has iterated that OBOR goes from "the country-to-country community of common destiny" to "the regional community of common destiny," and even further to "the community of common destiny for mankind," uniting the development of China and the countries on the route. OBOR is an initiative to form a China-led international order, in another words "the community of common destiny for mankind," therefore it pursuits the world order of Pax Sinica.
What China is promoting through OBOR are, first of all, to build "Five Cooperation Priorities" which are (1) policy coordination, (2) facilities connectivity, (3) unimpeded trade, (4) financial integrity, and (5) people-to-people bond. OBOR is an initiative of building China-led global governance through forming of the connectivity that comes with the joint construction of the economic corridor.
We have just received by snail mail the Newsletter for Research in Chinese Studies, 144 (November 2017), vol. 36, no. 4, a hard copy quarterly published by the Center for Chinese Studies (CCS) of Taiwan (The Republic of China). The journal is published in Chinese and subtitled in English.
In this issue: Summary of Research, Researchers of Chinese Studies Scholars, Research Institutes, Conference Reports, News from Academia.
Summary of Research: Lee Li-yung, "Cultivating Taiwan: Reflections on Agricultural Research in Taiwan, 2013-2015"; Chiang Chu Shan, "Cultural Turn and a Global Vision: Reconsidering Recent Decades of Research on the History of Medicine Treatment in Taiwan"; Kelvin Yu-hin Ho, "Slowly Revealed Splendor: Continued Research on Men's Studies from Chinese Historical Perspectives.
Unveiling Desire: Fallen Women in Literature, Culture, and Films of the East, edited by Devaleena Das and Colette Morrowis (Rutgers University Press, 2018), is a collection of 15 essays by various authors on the so-called "fallen women", namely promiscuous women.
The Wall Street Journal, which ran an editorial on August 29 entitled "Nuclear Missile over Tokyo; Accepting a nuclear North Korea probably means a nuclear Japan," published again an article related to Japanese nuclear possession on September 4, which was contributed by a renowned scholar.
According to the article, White House staffs are split on Japanese nuclear possession, and President Trump himself might see a nuclear Japan "not as a defeat, but as a victory of U.S. foreign policy." Furthermore, the author analyzes that North Korean nuclear and missile tests will lead to the internal division in the American administration, and "The allegedly crazy Kim regime has managed to put the U.S. in a tight corner."