Japanese and Russian Leaders Meet
By Jing (Jenny) Li
What: summit meeting between Japan and Russis
Who: Keizo Obuchi (Japanese PM); Boris Yeltsin (Russian President) and Yevgeny Primakov (Russian PM).
This Japan-Russia summit meeting focused on the territorial dispute between the two countries. The main result was that the two premiers signed the Moscow declaration on November 12, 1998, in which they pledged to sign a formal Japan-Russia peace treaty before 2000. They also signed four other documents to expand capital investment, increase tourism and environmental protection, and expand cooperation in mail delivery and telecommunications. During his visit, Obuchi announced Tokyo's plans to give Russia $10 million worth of medicines and provide expanded cooperation in a variety of technical areas.Topic Explication
On-topic articles include the stories about the preparation for this meeting (Komura's visit to Russia on 10/16/1998); its process; the analysis of this meeting's impact on bilateral relations; and direct results.Historical Background
The focal issue in this meeting is the question of sovereignty over the south Kurile Islands, which are currently held by Russia but are claimed by Japan.Time Line
Tokyo claimed title to the islands _ Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan and the Habomai islets _ in a treaty with Russia in 1875. But when Stalin met with Roosevelt and Churchill at Yalta in 1945, the Soviet leader promised that his army would join the war against the Japanese on condition, among many, that four islands (called Kuriles by the Russian) could be declared totally Soviet territory. This move was protested by Japan even since as illegal.
Over the past 50 years, relations between the two countries have long been clouded by the Kuril dispute. This territorial conflict has not been solved yet until today.
10/16/1998 Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura arrived in Moscow in preparation for a visit to Russia by Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi.
11/12/1998 Obuchi and Yeltsin signed the Moscow delcaration in which they summrized the diplomatic efforts of two sides on resoving territorial conflicts in the past five years and called for signing the Japan-Russia peace treaty before 2000.
11/13/1998 Obuchi met Russian PM Yevgeny Primakov
and discussed Tokyo's plans to give Russia $10 million aid.
|Island chain, NE Asia, part of Russia; the southernmost islands
are claimed by
Japan as the Northern Territories.
The islands extend c.775 mi (1,250 km) S
from the KAMCHATKA Peninsula to near
HOKKAIDO, Japan, and are cold, damp, and sparsely populated.
(from The Concise Columbia Electronic
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