Why Russia Is Challenging Japan Over Kurils

With the Russian government having assumed an increasingly aggressive posture regarding the country’s territorial dispute with Japan in recent months, the question naturally arises, Why?
A number of factors help explain Moscow’s new course. To begin with, domestic political conditions in Russia and Japan create an environment favorable for confrontation. Another likely explanation for Moscow’s growing assertiveness regarding the islands is that Russia is succeeding in raising its profile in East Asia more generally, even without resolving its dispute with Japan.

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