The Hot Spring Summit, Part 1: The Treacherous Ground of Territorial Negotiations

This is the first in a two-part series: On December 15, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will welcome Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Otanisanso onsen (hot spring) resort in Nagato, Yamaguchi Prefecture, for a face-to-face meeting. The Northern Territories, comprising the islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan, and the Habomai islands, are integral parts of Japan. […]

The Hot Spring Summit, Part 2: “I Will Not Leave this to the Next Generation”

This is the second in a two-part series. You can read part one here On January 19, 1960, four years after the Japan-Soviet Joint Declaration, Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi was visiting the White House and signed an amended version of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, strengthening the U.S.-Japan alliance and putting the relationship between the two […]

Abe & Putin: Why There Won’t Be a Breakthrough on Territory

On May 6, 2016, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emerged from a meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia, to tell the waiting press, “I have a sense that we are moving towards a breakthrough in the stalled peace treaty negotiations.” He continued by unveiling a “new approach” to bilateral relations, consisting of enhanced economic […]

Putin Is No Strongman: He’s Leading Russia into Ruin

It’s no surprise that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to make nice with Vladimir Putin later this week. The Russian president sure does look like a winner these days. Of course, there’s the obvious: In just two months, the United States—Moscow’s main competitor on the world stage—will be led by an incompetent demagogue whose […]