- ロシア史研究 (ISSN:03869229)
- vol.80, pp.45-59, 2007
This paper focuses on the Soviet attitude towards border delimitation between the Soviet Union and Japan before/during negotiations on normalizing relations after WWII. The so-called "four island" issue, e.g. Japan's strong territorial claims on Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan and Habomai islets, was then not mentioned. The name of "northern territory" was given to the four islands in the 1960s only after the Soviet Union and Japan failed to sign the peace treaty. The normalization process between the Soviet Union and Japan in the 1950s presents the essential items for academic inquiry: Did the Soviet leadership have an option to return the four islands to Japan? Why did Nikiita Khrushchev suddenly propose to hand back the two islands, Shikotan and Habomai, to Japan during the London negotiations in 1955? Was there really a possibility that Japan would accept the two island proposal and sign the peace treaty? Why did the Soviet Union and Japan finally agree to sign the joint declaration in October of 1956 as proof of normalization and put a clause onto the declaration that stated the two islands would be transferred to Japan after the peace treaty was signed? Russian President Vladimir Putin has renewed Khrushchev's early position. Many hints for breaking the deadlock over the "northern territorial" disputes between the Soviet Union/Russia and Japan are furnished there.