Lose Some, Win Some

Yeltsin gives Tokyo the cold shoulder but warms up to Taipei

Boris Yeltsin would have liked nothing more than to return from his state visit to Tokyo with Japanese promises of aid for his country's wrecked economy. But the price of Japan's help proved too high for the Russian President, who abruptly canceled the long-planned trip just four days before he was to depart. The reason: months of tense negotiations failed to resolve a 47-year-old territorial dispute over a group of islands in the Kurile chain north of Japan.

Tokyo has long refused to join other industrialized democracies in providing direct economic aid to Russia until Moscow handed back sovereignty over the...

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