INTERNATIONAL: Sobering Up in Sakhalin

From the Sea of Okhotsk fog and rain creep southward to shroud a long, splintery island hugging Russia's coast. The island is Sakhalin, stern, unfriendly, peopled with grandsons of the criminals Czarist police sent there to rot and die in chains.

But Sakhalin is fabulously rich (timber, gold, oil, coal), tempting to greedy neighbors. In 1905 Japan wrested its southern half away from Russia. In 1918, when Russia was in revolution, Japanese soldiers marched north, held the whole island for seven years. When finally they left the upper half, they took with...

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