Soviet Union: Closer Trade Ties

As their relations with Red China worsen, the Russians are stepping up their economic contacts with the non-Communist world. Soviet-Japanese trade, for example, has nearly tripled in the past five years, now runs at $400 million annually, a volume 10% greater than Japan's trade with Britain. Last week, after prolonged negotiations, a four-man team of Soviet aviation experts stood by in Tokyo, ready to initial an agreement establishing the first commercial air service between Moscow and Tokyo, by way of Siberia.

The pact, which would open a potentially lucrative air route, could yet be grounded by Moscow, but the Japanese...