Ever since the end of World War II the "Northern Territories” issue has posed a major challenge for the relations between Japan and Russia. The territorial dispute over the South Kuril islands continues to form an obstacle to the conclusion of a permanent peace treaty between both countries. While foreign-policy researchers have pointed out the challenges over the Northern Territories issue, few have been able to identify a way forward. This seminar will critically review the issues at the core of the territorial dispute, and re-examine common discourses on its impact on economic/political relations, on the negotiations towards partial concessions, and on attempts to overcome historical perceptions. In order to shed light on the realities of the negotiation process, the presentation will argue that events occurring in 1992, 1998, 2004, and 2010 each had a critical impact, and that they offer the possibility to extrapolate a future direction of Japan-Russia relations.
Prof. Akihiro Iwashita, Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University,Japan
Dr Arkady Moshes, Programme Director, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs
Dr Bart Gaens, Researcher, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs
Chair: Dr Mika Aaltola, Programme Director, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs
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