Soviet Pledges to Tokyo Fall Short Ambiguous Promises Have Left Japan Unsure as to What Was Achieved during Gorbachev Visit

By Clayton Jones, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, April 22, 1991 | Go to article overview

Soviet Pledges to Tokyo Fall Short Ambiguous Promises Have Left Japan Unsure as to What Was Achieved during Gorbachev Visit


Clayton Jones, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


A VAGUE outcome to last week's Japan-Soviet summit has let both sides off the hook of making promises neither can yet fulfill.

President Mikhail Gorbachev ended his four-day visit to Japan by endorsing only obliquely a 1956 Soviet pledge conceding territory to Japan. Prime Minister Toshiski Kaifu, meanwhile, offered only an ambiguous "balanced expansion" of assistance for the Soviet economy.

Giving away Soviet soil at this time would have hurt Mr. Gorbachev's ability to rein in breakaway Soviet republics or his precarious stand with domestic hard-liners, his aides say. Japan is seeking a return of four northern islands occupied by the Soviet Army just after World War II.

Japan's leaders, in turn, avoided pledging the large-scale economic aid that they link to a return of the islands. Such Japanese largess would have put it out of sync with Washington, which is trying to restrain aid to Moscow until market reforms are in place. Also, with the chance of another crackdown in the Soviet Union, Japan was wary of appearing to embrace the Soviet economy.

Rather, with a "breakthrough" seen as unlikely before the summit on both the questions of territory and aid, the two sides instead noted that this first-ever visit to Japan by a Soviet leader achieved its primary goal of lessening historic animosity and promising more high-level talks.

"The fact that Gorbachev came to Japan at all and acknowledged the island issue are the most important points," said a leading politician, Kiichi Miyazawa. Before this, Moscow refused to talk about the dispute. Ambiguous Agreement

Still, the ambiguous wording in the summit's joint statement concerning the islands - hammered out over nine hours of sometimes sharp dialogue between Gorbachev and Mr. Kaifu - could cause future rankling between Moscow and Tokyo. The statements refer only to "positive elements" made in a 1956 joint declaration that set postwar relations between the two nations. To Japan, the key aspect of the declaration (which Moscow abandoned in 1960 when Japan signed a security treaty with the United States) was a Soviet promise to return two of the four islands after a peace treaty was signed.

Just after signing the summit's joint statement, Gorbachev tried to play down Japanese rumors that he had fully endorsed the 1956 declaration.

"We accepted those parts in the joint declaration that have produced results from a viewpoint of international law," he said. "But we did not revive what has not come into existence or what has lost a chance."

During his April 16-19 visit, Gorbachev referred to the Stalin-era taking of the islands as a mistake "by people of different generations who did not see things the way we do," but that past decisions "should not be hastily corrected. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Soviet Pledges to Tokyo Fall Short Ambiguous Promises Have Left Japan Unsure as to What Was Achieved during Gorbachev Visit
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.