The Third Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum
Introduction of Speakers' Report entitled "Beyond Cold War to Trilateral Cooperation in the Asia Pacific Region: Scenarios for a New Relationship Between Japan, Russia and the United States."
It's a great honor for me to participate in this third Portsmouth Treaty Forum, on this 90th anniversary of the Portsmouth Treaty, and a special privilege to participate along with my two colleagues who were the principal draftsmen of this report that was referred to. I want to thank the organizers of the meeting for having the session, and for getting us together again, since we haven't been together again as a trio to discuss this for now three years.
Let me say just a word about the collaboration that produced what actually I think is a unique report, and remains a unique report. Back in early - even in the end of 1991 - as we looked at relations between Russia, Japan, and the United States, the idea emerged through various forums, but eventually was agreed upon that we should seek to have leading scholars from Japan, Russia and the United States look objectively at the issue, how two great countries, Japan and Russia, could continue not to have normalized relations, not to have even a peace treaty settling World War II. We each then organized teams from Japan, the United States and Russia, of experts familiar with the history, with the law, with the recent political developments, seeking to look at these issues as objectively as we could, and produced a report, a report entitled "Beyond Cold War to Trilateral Cooperation in the Asia Pacific Region: Scenarios for a New Relationship Between Japan, Russia and the United States." We've been unable to identify any other instance in the history of these three countries in which independent scholars from all three worked together to write a joint report, in which every sentence represents the judgment in which the three authors could agree. As a basis for the report, we read all the major documents in the three-century history of this relationship, in all three languages; we collected the documents and made them available; we studied the statements of the governments, we discussed with the governments our thoughts and our findings; but the judgments as reported in this report were the judgments of the authors, not of the governments. And we enjoyed the opportunity to work together in this collaboration. We would recommend this, actually, as an example of the kind of independent intellectual cooperation, in which independent work by scholars can be of use to their societies and their governments; and this report, then, becomes the basis for our comments today, about which we will have more to say in the speeches that each of us will give. But I wanted to put this in context.
This report was concluded in August of 1992, so now some 3 years ago, and was presented to the leaders of each of the three governments. What happened to the report, and what should happen thereafter, remains some of the subject for discussion today. Thank you.