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Two commentaries were made by Iwashita Akihiro and Konstantin Sarkisov, both long-time experts on Japan-Russia relations whom I respect. Iwashita’s comments are mostly related to the evaluation of Japan-Russia relations from the Cold War to the present, obliging me to explain why I see certain things as I do and why I cannot agree with some of his points. First, I will start with responses to Sarkisov’s comments, which touch upon the immediate future of Japan-Russia relations and serve also to put in context some of Iwashita’s comments on the future.

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