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Russia wants to discuss withdrawal of U.S. Forces from Japan in peace treaty talks

NHK reported online this morning that Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Zakharova stated at  a news conference yesterday that “all diplomatic documents,” including a 1960 Soviet Union memorandum demanding the withdrawal of U.S. Forces from Japan, should be discussed in the bilateral peace treaty talks. The memorandum was drafted by the USSR in reaction to Japan’s revision of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty in 1960. It demanded the withdrawal of all foreign military forces as a condition for handing over the islands of Habomai and Shikotan, which Japan rejected, but this has since become one of the reasons for the stalemate in the territorial talks. Nikkei printed a similar Kyodo story speculating that the Russian official’s remark was intended to keep Japan’s moves to accelerate peace treaty talks in check by bringing up the U.S.-Japan security arrangements and U.S. forces in Japan amid deteriorating relations between the United States and Russia.

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