JAPAN: Echoes of Cuba

Other Soviets on other islands

A Soviet military buildup on an offshore island uncomfortably close to home. Sharp internal disagreement among rival politicians and policymakers over just how much of a "threat" the buildup posed. Government demands for a Soviet withdrawal, brusquely rejected by Moscow.

A replay of the Soviet-troops-in-Cuba affair? Not exactly, but the controversy surrounding new military preparations on the tiny Soviet-held island of Shikotan off the coast of Japan did bear some striking similarities. In Tokyo last week Japan's top defense official, Ganri Yamashita, reported to the Cabinet that over the past year the Soviet Union has deployed up...

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