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_____________________________________________________________ H-DIPLO ROUNDTABLE Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, _The Northern Territories Dispute and Russo-Japanese Relations, 2 vols, Volume 1, _Between War and Peace, 1696-1985_, Volume 2, _Neither War Nor Peace, 1985-1998 (Berkeley, California: International and Area Studies Publication, University of California at Berkeley, 1998). Hiroshi Kimura, _Distant Neighbours, 2 vols, Volume 1, _Japanese-Russian Relations under Brezhnev and Andropov_, Volume 2, _Japanese-Russian Relations under Gorbachev and Yeltsin_ (Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, 2000). Roundtable Editor: Thomas Maddux Reviewers: Tsuneo Akaha, Tuomas Forsberg, Peggy Meyer, Alexei Zagorsky ________________________________________________________________ Commentary by Hiroshi Kimura Let me begin my comments by expressing my thanks to the participants, who took extra time in reading my two-volume books and wrote a commentary, which is very useful to further my studies on the subject. Let me respond to the comments made and questions raised by each discussant. In doing so, I would like to adopt the following policies: Since I believe that I have made my points clear enough in my books, I may not repeat what I have intended to emphasize in them. Instead, I would rather mention some background factors, which I was not necessarily able to disclose in any places of my books: why did I happen to write these two-volume books? What are the purposes which I personally aim at achieving in writing them? How and when did I write them? Professors Forsberg and Meyer are both generous enough to have read very carefully and correctly the lengthy volumes of my books. Their treatment of my books and Hasegawa's seem to be very fair and balanced, for which I am grateful. Both of them have said mainly nice things about my books, and refrained themselves from criticizing their weakest points. Forsberg could have criticized more bitterly my books. He could have easily done that, particularly because somewhere in my books I criticized one of his papers, without making much effort to confirm in advance what Forsberg really meant. I am extremely pleased to know that Forsberg has, as well as Zagorsky, correctly noticed the fact that I have spent more pages in analyzing the Soviet/Russian side rather than the Japanese one. Why did I do that? First of all, I am a specialist on Soviet/Russian politics, not at all on Japanese politics. Furthermore, Hasegawa did such a fine job in analyzing, and even criticizing, the Japanese policies in his books, which were published about two years before mine. There is no use of repeating what other colleagues of mine did before. Forsberg writes that if he compares me with Hasegawa, who is "more of an U.S. based outsider," I am "more of an insider to the Japanese policy-making community." Forsberg is correct. At the same time, I am slightly annoyed to recognize that almost all participants in this Roundtable tend to view me as a scholar who is closer to the Gaimusho, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Meyer, for instance, writes that Kimura "is known to have close relations with Japanese policy makers." Zagorsky also makes a similar observation, when he writes that "Kimura's work definitely reflects the dominant 'right-to-the middle' version in Japan, much of which was built by Professor Kimura himself." It was Professor Gilbert Rozman, who regarded me as one of "right-to-the middle" scholar in the Japanese academic community of Soviet Studies. (see Rozman, Japan's Responses to the Gorbachev Era, 1985-1991: A Rising Superpower Views a Declining One, Princeton University Press, 1992.) Hasegawa faithfully follows Rozman's classification of Japanese specialists on Soviet/Russian affairs and regards me as a specialist whose position with regard to the Soviet Union is "right-to-the middle." In the 1985-1991 period Rozman might have been probably right in categorizing me as a Japanese Soviet watcher who is located in "right-to-the middle." But it was ten years ago. Since that time the Soviet Union collapsed and the map of ideological and political positions among Japanese Kremlinologists has greatly changed. So has even the Gaimusho, as best illustrated by the existence of the two schools regarding the approach to Russia in the Gaimusho, both of which have bitterly fought against each other. It seems to me to be nothing but a intellectual laziness to keep blindly following the classification which was made by one U.S. specialist about ten years ago. Furthermore, I am an independent scholar who resided in Hokkaido (for 21 years) and currently lives in Kyoto (for 11 years), without any direct contact whatsoever with either the Tokyo government nor with the Gaimusho. Sometimes I wish I could have some contact with and influence upon them, but in practice I do not have such a voice at all. To be honest, I have enjoyed most the comments made by Zagorsky. He is also a specialist on Russo-Japanese relations, but a Russian, who is particularly familiar with the Russian side. Since my major interest is, as mentioned above, the Russian policies toward Japan, not the Japanese policies toward Russia, it is natural that I am eager to learn from Zagorsky more than from anybody else. In this Roundtable discussion, Zagorsky have criticized more bitterly my books than any other commentators do. But I would like to understand and even accept most of his criticism. The reason is not necessarily due to the fact that he is a Russian who knows the Russian politics better than I do. It is rather due to the fact that his criticism, seen from a social scientist's point of view, seems to me to be proper, reasonable, and acceptable ones. First of all, Zagorsky quite correctly observes that my "two volumes are rather different in their ideas and presentation." As a matter of fact, I completed the writing of the volume one in 1983, shortly after when Andropov succeeded Brezhnev in the Kremlin. I completed the writing of the volume Two in 1998-99. Probably, these two books should have been published separately at different times. Living in Japan, however, I did not get any opportunity to publish them in that way. Only when the second volume was completed in 1999, a U. S. publisher suggested me to simultaneously publishing the two writings of mine in a set of two volumes. I gladly grabbed that opportunity. The conceptual framework and methodology employed in these two volumes are naturally different, as correctly observed by Zagorsky. Though I did some efforts to make these two volume more consistent in terms of methodology and others, I have been unable to be successful enough. Zagorsky, an shrewd observer, have noticed this defect of my two-volume set. Honestly speaking, I really do not know which volume of my two-volume books is relatively of better quality than the other. The volume one is a correction of papers, which I had written over six-year period, 1977 through 1983. Each chapter in that volume was written at different time. Consequently, volume one in toto appears to be lacking an unified approach. Besides, I was intellectually premature 20 or 25 years ago. The second volume was written during my nine-month stay at Columbia University in 1998-99. Therefore, it is more consistent in its conceptual framework and methodology, but each chapter is not so sufficiently well researched nor thought out. Zagorsky has missed at least one point: In the volume One I have covered only the part of the Brezhnev era, starting 1976 through 1982 that is the period, when one can clearly witness the trend of deteriorating relations between the USSR and Japan. In the very end of the volume One I write: "In conclusion, in the period from the late 1970's to early 1980s, Japanese-Soviet relations reached their lowest ebb. . this period may be considered unique period in the entire postwar history of Japanese-Soviet relations." Yet, he criticized that I "ignores a striking different decade of late sixties and early nineties." But these periods of late 1960's and early 1990 are beyond a subject of the volume One. Hasegawa criticizes my position in four points. I would not like to quarrel with him. First of all, he has been always kind enough to help my studies. (For example, he read very carefully the manuscript of volume One of my books, when it was written first in Sapporo in 1983). Hasegawa and I worked together for almost eight years at the Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University. We know too well each other's view. Furthermore, Hasegawa consider himself a historian, who is interested in providing us with a fair picture of Japanese-Soviet/Russian relations. Being a historian does not, however, prevent him from criticizing that the Tokyo government's approach toward the solution of the Northern Territories has not been an appropriate one. In contrast, I am a political scientist who is interested in the mechanism and determinants of Russian policy making toward Japan. I am wondering to what extent of international relations (IR) theories, developed mainly in the U.S. academic community, are valid for analyzing Russo-Japanese relations. Which is better policy to be pursued by the Tokyo government, "the two-stage solution" or "the all-at-once solution" of the four islands? This has become one of the hottest issue in Japan, closely connected with "the Suzuki scandal." I would not like the discussion of this Roundtable to be reduced to such a political level, on which we will also get involved in the similar debate. At least, that is not my major concern. What interests me is rather the following questions: Why do the Japanese stick to the formula of the return of the entire four islands? Why are the Russians refusing to accept such a formula? I am now working on the third volume, the main theme of which is the Russian's policy under Putin toward Japan. Copyright (c) 2000 by H-Net, all rights reserved. This work may be copied for non-profit educational use if proper credit is given to the author and the list. For other permission, please contact H-Net@h-net.msu.edu or H-Diplo@h-net.msu.edu.