Organized Panel Session
This panel examines the various ways in which Soviet Russia shaped Japan’s foreign policy on the Asian continent, and how it influenced Japan’s cultural and political imagination in the first half of the twentieth century. Studies of Japan’s relations with Russia cannot be separated from examinations of Japan’s policies vis-à-vis the rest of Asia, and vice versa. We begin by asking: how did Imperial Japan’s attitude toward Soviet Russia affect its position toward China and Korea? What kind of cultural assumptions about Russia and its history lay behind those policies?
Tatiana Linkhoeva demonstrates how Japanese civil decision makers in the early 1920s disregarded the notion of “communist menace” and continued seeking cooperation with the new Soviet regime. Yukiko Koshiro reexamines the conventional Euro-centered narrative of the internationalist interwar period, and argues that a new vision of world order in which Japan formed a coalition with Soviet Russia and communist China gained great potency throughout the interwar and wartime periods in Japan. Shohei Saito explores Japan’s use of Russian concept of Eurasianism to promulgate Pan-Asianism in the 1920s and the 1930s, while in contrast Russian émigrés in Japan’s puppet-state Manchukuo utilized Eurasianism to resist the concept of Pan-Asianism. Yaroslav Shulatov sheds light on the Khabarovsk Trials (USSR) in 1949, as a unique component of the emerging Cold War-era global order in Asia. Using newly declassified Russian archival documents, he revisits the US-Soviet relations in relation to Japanese war criminals, a possibility of trial over Emperor Hirohito, and the erupting Korean War.