chapter  4
22 Pages

Japanese economic incentives and the Northern Territories dispute, 1985–1999

Japanese attempts to regain the Northern Territories (the “Territories”) from the Soviet Union and later Russia through lucrative economic incentives represented an initiative falling within the realm of high politics. Consequently, the realist model (R) would not fare well if Moscow conceded the Territories to obtain these incentives. For an economically desperate Soviet Union and its equally cash-strapped Russian successor state, the prospect of Japanese inducements would have considerable appeal on economic grounds; therefore, a failure of economic statecraft would pose problems for the commercial liberal model (CL). With regard to conditionalist regime model (CR), we do not have the same degree of variation in regime type as in the last chapter, since both states were non-democratic in the period under investigation. Therefore, successful economic statecraft would challenge model CR. Nonetheless, since post-Soviet Russia state was closer to democracy than the Soviet Union, greater traction for economic statecraft after the fall of the Soviet Union would lend credibility to model CR. Following the pattern of our previous case study chapters, this chapter assesses the performance of these three alternative models against our own, which stresses the importance of Soviet and Russian TSI and stateness in explaining failed Japanese attempts to influence Moscow with economic inducements. We start with a brief background on the case, followed by an overview of Japanese economic incentives. To assess TSI, we then consider the effect compliance would have on Moscow’s strategic interests. We then evaluate Soviet and Russian stateness during the time periods under investigation. In the concluding section, we judge whether Japanese economic statecraft achieved its purpose in this case and why. While we discuss the implications of all our cases cumulatively in the concluding chapter, this chapter concludes with a consideration of the lessons of Japanese economic statecraft toward Moscow for the competing models of economic statecraft.