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Additional resources for Byzantino-Nordica 2004: Papers Presented at the International Symposium of Byzantine Studies Held on 7-11 May 2004 in Tartu, Estonia

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31 In August 1949 Soviet success in a nuclear weapons test demolished the US monopoly of nuclear weapons, only four years after Hiroshima. US-USSR military competition thereafter became one of the biggest factors in aggravating the Cold War. In October 1949 Communist China was established. In June 1950 the Korean War broke out. At the same time, the United States intervened in the Chinese civil war, deployed the 7th Fleet off China’s coast to protect Taiwan and 18 JAPANESE-SOVIET/RUSSIAN RELATIONS SINCE 1945 openly supported the nationalist government there.

At San Francisco, under new international conditions which came to be known as the ‘Cold War’, the Kuriles were again sacrificed in the power game over construction of the post-war international order. The Peace Treaty neither defines the extent of the Kuriles, nor specifies to which country Japan renounced them. The Soviet Union did not sign the Treaty, which in any case fully reflected the strategic interests of its Cold War opponent, the United States. The territorial problem was shelved at this point.

From Onekotan southward. Considering that Stalin on 16 August expressed intent to secure the whole Kuriles chain with Soviet forces, and that Truman agreed to this, it can only be assumed that the Joint Chiefs of Staff neither consulted nor informed the leaders of either nation of this agreement. It is rather comical to imagine the fear and embarrassment of the Soviet Chief of General Staff when he learned from Stalin about his agreement with Truman regarding the disposal of the Kuriles. On 2 September 1945 Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signed the Instrument of Surrender in Tokyo Bay.

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