Russian-Japanese accommodation: a threat to America's strategic position in the Pacific Rim?
LaCaze, Jeffery L.
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The end of the Cold War presents the United States with new opportunities and challenges. During the Cold War, the U.S.-Japanese relationship was the linchpin of security in the Pacific. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, it seems logical to analyze pre-Bolshevik foreign policy to ascertain the likely direction of Russian policy in the Pacific. Russia and Japan have had economic relations throughout their history; one of the primary obstacles to normalized relations has been the Kurile Islands. Since Yeltsin has indicated his willingness on the issue of the islands, the possibility exists for closer Russo-Japanese relations. The reliance on military power has been overtaken by the need to ensure a country's economic health. Japan, an ally during the Cold War, can now be viewed as an economic competitor. Russia, an adversary during the Cold War, could become an economic ally. Continued U.S. influence in the Pacific requires a re-assessment of traditional relationships. Alliances unheard of in the Cold War are now possible. Closer ties between Russia and Japan could present new challenges to the United States in the Pacific. In order to prevent a loss of influence in the Pacific, new policy choices with regard to Russia and Japan need to be examined.
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