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At the event, Maruyama asked participants, "Would you agree or disagree with going to war with Russia to secure the territories' return? What kind of politician could so casually advocate war to solve an issue between governments?

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One of the ultimate goals of politics in our age is to avoid war. Maruyama's comments revealed such vacuous political awareness that we cannot help but be utterly flabbergasted. Moscow has held the Northern Territories since the former Soviet Union landed troops on the islands in , after unilaterally repudiating its non-aggression pact with Japan. Negotiations between Tokyo and Moscow on the territories' return to Japan have continued on and off since the war's end.

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For Maruyama to ignore all this history and imply Japan should just take the islands back by military force is an extreme anachronism. The year-old is also a former national civil servant with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Overall, he was in an important position in Diet deliberations on the Northern Territories issue, and yet it seems very doubtful indeed that he truly understood the history behind the dispute.

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When the Soviets invaded the islands, about half of the 17, or so inhabitants took flight. Those who stayed behind were later forcibly removed, most of them held in internment camps before being returned to Japan. It was, in short, a brutal experience. The level of insensitivity needed to insist to these people, these war victims, that fighting yet another war is the option to solve the Northern Territories dispute beggars the imagination.

That the former residents expressed discomfort at the idea was absolutely natural. No formal peace treaty was signed between Tokyo and Moscow after World War II, and the current negotiations on a pact are built on a Japan-Soviet joint declaration. After long and stubborn fighting and heavy casualties on both sides, the Russian commander, General A. Kuropatkin , broke off the fighting and withdrew his forces northward from Mukden, which fell into the hands of the Japanese.

Losses in this battle were exceptionally heavy, with approximately 89, Russian and 71, Japanese casualties. The naval Battle of Tsushima finally gave the Japanese the upper hand in the conflict. The Japanese had been unable to secure the complete command of the sea on which their land campaign depended, and the Russian squadrons at Port Arthur and Vladivostok had remained moderately active.


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Japan was by this time financially exhausted, but its decisive naval victory at Tsushima, together with increasing internal political unrest throughout Russia, where the war had never been popular, brought the Russian government to the peace table. August 9—September 5, Russo-Japanese War. Article Media. Info Print Cite.

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Russian foreign policy in the s was concerned above all with the Far East. The inability of Nicholas II to decide between contradictory policies urged by different advisers was a major factor in the drift toward war with Japan. Russia refused to make…. Although Chinese political influence had been effectively eliminated in Korea, the Japanese struggled to assert themselves as rulers on the peninsula.

Feature History - Russo-Japanese War

The Korean regime also sought….