Russian relations with Japan from 2000-2010

Russian relations with Japan from 2000-2010 : enduring obstacles, limited opportunities
Richardson, Peter William (Author)
Goldman, Minton F. (Advisor)
Schmitt, David E. (Committee member)
Ogden, Suzanne (Committee member)
Boston (Mass.) : Northeastern University
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Although Russian relations with Japan experienced notable progress from 2000-2010, recent claims by the Russian government of advancement toward a "full-blown partnership" are premature and imprecise. To be certain, many aspects of the Russian-Japanese relationship remained problematic and competitive during this period. A number of factors intimate that Russian assertions regarding the scope, promise and genuine friendliness of relations were exaggerated, not least an unresolved territorial dispute over the Southern Kurile Islands, the continued absence of a World War II peace treaty and historically entrenched mutual distrust. These and other important considerations undermined the substantial expansion and diversification of Russian political, economic and military cooperation with Japan over the last decade. Interestingly though, they did not preclude entirely the development of cooperation in these three spheres. Indeed, Russian-Japanese relations flourished in a number of areas - albeit in areas of lesser significance than the territorial or peace treaty issues that did not have much bearing on the development of a "full-blown partnership". This case-study explores the complex nature of Russia's relationship with Japan as it evolved and existed from 2000-2010 by assessing the extensiveness of bilateral cooperation that developed in political, economic and military spheres during the last decade. This work also identifies and discusses the theoretical bases of this relationship in order to provide a more comprehensive understanding as to why it did not expand more substantively during the Putin-Medvedev era. Specifically, this study demonstrates how three major areas of international relations theory help explain the nature of Russia's cooperative and conflictive interactions with Japan since the turn of the millennium. These three areas include the neorealist-neoliberal debate, perception and misperception in international politics, and the prisoner's dilemma game-theoretical approach to international relations analysis.
Subjects and keywords:
Russian history
southern kurile islands
International relations
International Relations
Political Science
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Copyright 2010, Peter William Richardson.