On August 31, the Valdai Discussion Club held an expert discussion and presentation of the report, titled "The Russian-Japanese Rapprochement: Opportunities and Limitations."
For the first time in a long period the relations between Russia and Japan have a prospect of qualitative improvement. The sides are searching for a mutually acceptable solution of the peace treaty problem. Russia signaled that it was still committed to the 1956 Soviet-Japanese declaration on the "transfer" of the two islands after the conclusion of the peace treaty.
Russia makes it clear that it is not ready to reach a compromise under pressure, but is ready for it in course of a large-scale process to improve bilateral relations. Its first condition is the creation of a trustworthy atmosphere that will exclude the politicization of the islands issue. The basis for the process should be a large-scale expansion of economic cooperation. However, the process of rapprochement may be under threat as a result of sharp internal political changes or interference of external factors - sudden destabilization in the region or the pressure of the allies.What are the expectations of Russia and Japan from the emerging rapprochement? How active is support for the rapprochement between Moscow and Tokyo among the political elites and the public of both countries? How big is the deterrent role of China and the United States in the context of the development of Russian-Japanese relations? These and other questions were raised during the discussion.