After 23 rounds of summit level interaction between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Japan and Russia have set up a high-level consultative framework, which will be steered by Japanese and Russian Foreign Ministers. The agenda of this consultative framework is to seek ways to sign a peace treaty and resolution of territorial dispute which has been lingering between the two countries ever since the end of the World War II. Both in Japanese and Russian narratives 1956 joint declaration in which Russia agreed to handover two islands to Japan after the conclusion of a Peace Treaty has become a reference point. In addition to this, Russia is asking Japan not to station US forces after it is handed over to Japan. Should Japan agree to this demand in an exchange of a Peace Treaty? This is a key contentious issue and opinion is divided in Japanese media and strategic circle. Nonetheless, speculation is rife that Japanese Prime Minister’s visit to Russia in January will prepare the ground of a Peace Treaty and Russian President is keen to sign the treaty in June 2019 when he will visit Japan to attend the next G-20 summit. The ICS seminar against this backdrop will discuss the issues involved in Japan-Russia territorial dispute and the emerging contours of a possible Peace Treaty between the two neighbours.
About the Speaker
Shamshad Ahmad Khan is Visiting Associate Fellow at the ICS. He is also a Guest Faculty at the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Delhi. After completing his PhD in 2009 from the Centre for East Asian Studies, School of International Relations, JNU, he has spent time as faculty as well as researcher both in Indian and Japanese academia. In India, he had been associated with think tanks such as Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses (June 2009- September 2013) and Indian Council of World Affairs (October 2013 to September 2015). In Japan, he had been associated with Keio University (October 2015-Augut 2016), Japan Institute of International Relations (November 2014 to January 2015), Institute for Developing Economies (November 2012-February 2013), Slavic Research Centre, Hokkaido University (December–March 2011) and Waseda University (April 2007 to March 2008) in different capacities. Until recently, he was Assistant Professor (Visiting) at the Department of International Relations at Sharjah University, UAE. He is also a recipient of Nakasone Yasuhiro Award. He has authored a book: “Changing Dynamics of India-Japan Relations”, Pentagon Press, New Delhi.
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