Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 75

A series of agreements were reached in the Kawana talks. The two leaders resolved to continue their informal meetings. Hashimoto is to visit Moscow this fall and Yeltsin will travel to Japan again sometimes next year. Hashimoto announced that Tokyo will expand visa-free travel to the four disputed Kuril Islands–known as the Northern Territories in Japan–and said that Japan will send diesel engines to increase electrical power generation for the islanders. The two leaders also called for broader economic cooperation under the aegis of the “Hashimoto-Yeltsin plan,” a series of proposals agreed upon in Krasnoyarsk. Tokyo is to study one plan that would promote Japanese investment in Russia, and another for the building of a Japanese automobile factory near Moscow. Hashimoto announced that Japan will extend to Russia some $600 million of a $1.5 billion credit promised earlier. The two leaders also agreed to increase cooperation in space and to intensify bilateral military contacts. Russian and Japanese naval forces are to hold a disaster-prevention drill in the Sea of Japan. (Kyodo, April 18; AP, Itar-Tass, April 19)

Other initiatives–announced in vaguer terms and occasioning ambivalent responses–related more directly to Japanese-Russian negotiations on a peace treaty and to the difficult territorial issue. Yeltsin proposed, for example, that the two countries strive to sign a treaty on peace, friendship and cooperation. That sort of agreement would be more comprehensive than the peace treaty currently under consideration and would, the Russian side argued, put bilateral relations on a firmer basis going into the new century. Yeltsin also proposed that Moscow and Tokyo jointly build facilities for processing fish products–and improve infrastructure–on the disputed islands. For his part, Hashimoto said that he had offered a new proposal to resolve the dispute over the islands. Details of the plan were not revealed, however. Yeltsin said only that he would study it. (Kyodo, April 18; AP, Itar-Tass, April 19)