Will Japan agree to drop its claims on the South Kurile islands for the sake of signing a peace treaty with Russia? Even a couple of years ago I would have said with certainty that it’s not possible, and that the Japanese will continue to cover our islands to the last.
Let’s recall some history. Japan attacked Russia in 1904 in a not very nice way and after the 1905 peace received from us the southern half of the Sakhalin Island and a few other islands. The Japanese did not celebrate for very long: upon the end of WW2 Russia took back its territory. Japan took the loss of what they stole rather calmly. During the Khrushchev era they even tried to reach a peace agreement in order to affirm their losses and turn a new leaf in its relations with Russia, the US however vetoed the proposed treaty.
I’ll add that we did not exactly twist Japan’s arms. The two southern islands, Kunashir and Iturup, are vital to us since they sit astride a never freezing waterway to Vladivostok. The small Kurile range, which are not as valuable to us, Khrushchev was willing to give up in order to end the conflict.
However, the status quo also satisfied both sides. We had our ice free passage to Vladivostok and de-facto controlled the islands, while the Japanese were not concerned by the absence of a peace treaty because they understood Russia was not about to attack them. The half-hearted negotiations of the “give us the islands–no we won’t” could have continued for decades…if it weren’t for the fact that the star-spangled collossus is now sporting cracks visible to the naked eye.
The bomb surfaced in the middle of the week. Japan suddenly said that it is inviting Vladimir Vladimirovich for a visit, and not just for the sake of small talk but…to conclude a peace treaty and resolve the territorial issue:
Russia’s position has not changed–we are not prepared to give the islands to the Japanese in exchange for a peace treaty: the signing of that document is not so important to us that we would make territorial concessions. Therefore we can carefully conclude that Japan’s position has changed. It may be that Japan decided to sign the peace treaty on Russia’s terms and finally part with the islands which were under its control for a few decades of the 20th century.
The gravity of what’s happening can be judged by the US reaction. Shortly after the unexpected Japanese announcement a relevant Assistant Secretary of State gathered journalist and told them that Japan should not deal with Russia, because Russia is guilty and should be punished:
What is more, George Soros woke up and in so many words said that China is scheming to attack Japan, which is only being kept safe from the hordes of Chinese occupiers by the brave US Marines:
How are we to interpret all this? What is happening, and why are the Japanese acting as if they intend to make, for no apparent reason, an unacceptably generous gesture toward Russia?
Let’s recall history again, this time of WW2. Japan bravely fought against the US on the Pacific front but in final account suffered a tremendous defeat which was underscored by the US atomic strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I’ll note that the Japanese were not exactly playing nice either during the war. The Japanese military acted with such brutality that they eclipsed eve the most odious fascist criminals. Interested individuals should search the net for, for example, “Unit 731” or read the novel “Playing Go.” Samurai fearlessness was a double-edged sword: they were not only indifferent to their own suffering, but to the pain of others as well.
Therefore ultimately Japan fell to the US and…made a very bold move. They acknowledged themselves to be completely defeated and became the most faithful servants of the US. They fulfilled all of the US conditions, forgave them for nuclear bombardments, gave up on having a military and found a secure spot for themselves in the US world order on the terms of favorite colony, acting for a while as if it’s not the US and USSR who fought against Japan, but rather US and Japan who fought against USSR.
We know that the tactic worked. The tiny Japan made an economic leap forward and became the world’s second economy, allowing itself to fall to the fourth place due to the rise of Japan and India only recently. Granted, in the last couple of decades Japan’s economy has been barely ticking under the crushing US colonial ceiling, but the defeated Japan managed to extract far more benefits from its defeat than anyone could have predicted in the distant 1945.
We should also understand that the US were able to subordinate Japan with their nukes but not domesticate it. The Japanese are not savages from US comic books who are happy to kiss the hand of their white master. The Japanese elites remember well all of that “democracy” which the US inflicted on them before, during, and after WW2.
Now the US main enemy are China and Russia, but mainly China. Japan is conveniently located to serve as a sledgehammer against China: in other words, to start a war with China that give the US to use its nuclear club on China or at the very least seriously weaken it by a major war. At the same time, the US is not in the least concerned about what happens to the hammer, just as they are not concerned about what happens to their other combat implement, Ukraine.
Therefore, from the point of view of cold-blooded Japanese, now is the time to try to escape from the ill tyrant. Let me say again that there is no possibility of a genuine friendship between the US and Japan: the Japanese understand perfectly well they were defeated and they view the Americans as occupiers.
Cooperation with China is, from Japan’s perspective, more preferable to continuing as America’s colony. Japan has technologies and a highly developed industry. If the Japanese convincingly apologize before the Chinese for the Rape of Nanking and other crimes of that era, if they resolve their territorial disputes with China, the PRC will be happy to establish a strong partnership with Japa.
But what can protect Japan from jilted America’s anger? Obviously, only Russia. Which can extend its nuclear umbrella over Japan, should it feel the need. Therefore now is the time to make a bold move: acknowledge the islands to be part of Russia and join Russia as a junior partner.
The potential cooperation between Japan and Russia looks even more promising than possible cooperation between Japan and China. Apart from the nuclear umbrella, we can help Japan with hydrocarbons it so badly needs by building a Power of Siberia extension to Japan. Access to Russian gas would allow Japan to greatly reduce its production costs.
There’s still the question of the impossibly large national debt which is currently pulling Japan’s economy to the bottom. However, that problem can be solved Japanese-style. It would be enough for the government to address the nation: “Yamato is in danger, we need to unite in the face of adversity.” Then default, hyperinflation, debt nullification and…inevitable economic take-off.
Who’s afraid of default?
Default terrifies those who have a trade deficit. Those who buy more than sell. In the event of default, they have nothing with which to cover the difference between imports and exports, which means they have to sharply reduce imports which then leads to catastrophic economic consequences.
But countries with a trade surplus–and Japan has one even right now, in spite of temporary energy problems–don’t need credits nearly as much. Japan enjoys a continual influx of money from its foreign economic activity.
Right now Japan is half-bankrupt because the US is sucking out all of its financial juices, forcing them to buy their junk-status government bonds. If Japan manages to free itself from this honorable duty, it will quickly grow rich. What’s more, within a year of yen devaluation the country will undergo a devaluation euphoria: the cost of manufacturing will drop sharply and Japanese goods will become even more competitive.
If you add to this cheap Russian gas, we’ll see that after trading the status of US colony for that of Russian and Chinese junior partner, Japan will be able to repeat the economic miracle of the ’60s.
This scenario is beneficial to both Japan and Russia. And not only because of the peace treaty. There are more important reasons for us to help Japan free itself.
Already today Japan is trying to buy oil for yen–obtaining full independence would allow it to reject dollars altogether. The loss of a major colony and the subsequent narrowing of the dollar space would place the US in such a difficult situation that our US friends and partners would have far less eagerness to do stupid things close to Russia’s borders.
On the other hand, our army and our hydrocarbons will become so important to the defenseless Japan that we can count not only on a long-term relationship but also on Japanese help to expand domestic machine tool production.
What is more, we are nudging Japan in that direction. Sergey Naryshkin said a couple of days ago said that nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and I quote, “to this day did not receive appropriate evaluation on the international level.”
This way we are giving Japan yet another reason to opt for independence from the US–arrogant Americans still think they are the only superpower on the planet and don’t intend to apologize for anything.
It’s self evident that it would be too soon to write off Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam may be ill, but is still quite strong and clever. But there is one more reason which allows Japan to hope for a successful escape. The US is entering into its election cycle–the US elites are becoming absorbed by the upcoming elections and are paying less attention to external irritants.
US presidential elections will take place in November 2016–therefore Japan now has a window of opportunity of about a year. If Japan quickly establishes relations with Russia and China–or at least one of them–Washington, in all likelihood, will not be able to react adequately to the departure of the fattest pearl of its imperial crown.
The Pentagon and the intelligence community do not live by election cycles. There is no “off” season for them.
And it is a mistake to think that the Pentagon and the intelligence community are controlled by elected officials. The reality is that the military and intelligence community, plus the business community and Wall St., control American elected officials.