Introduction The post-World War II territorial issue between Japan and Russia concerning four minor islands north of Hokkaido has been the main obstacle to definitive normalization of relations between the two countries after the war in the form of a peace treaty. This issue is also one of the main obstacles to a permanent post-World War II peace regime in Northeast Asia. Several efforts have been made to solve the territorial issue at the high political level, and in a number of academic seminars, but with no concrete results. The prospects for a permanent peace regime in Northeast Asia1 look at the moment, however, more promising than perhaps any time after the war.2 This has encouraged a search for new recipes for solving this deadlock in relations between Japan and Russia.