This paper examines the Japanese factors behind the stalemate between Japan and Russia. It treats the territorial dispute not as a core reason but as a consequence of deeper problems, both emotive and structural. Japanese leaders cannot challenge the multiple forces keeping them from ending the stalemate.
As a result of normalization of Sino-Japanese relations in 1972, Japan cut off its diplomatic ties with the Republic of China (Taiwan). What followed was nearly two decades of diplomatic tepidity between Tokyo and Taipei. Since the 1990s, however, Japan and Taiwan have been rapidly approaching each other again. This commingling process, which has elevated their relations to an ““unofficial-in-name-only”” status, is the result of three mutually reinforcing factors: re-imagination of colonial ties, sharing of a democratic identity, and the permeating of popular culture.