The second chance for Soviet-Japanese rapprochement during the post-war period came in early 1970. In January 1972, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko visited Japan. In October of the same year, Japanese Foreign Minister Masayoshi Ohira visited Moscow. This meeting marked the First Peace Treaty Negotiation to be held after the diplomatic restoration of 1956. In March 1973, the top leaders of the two countries, Kakuei Tanaka and Leonid Brezhnev, exchanged letters and confirmed the necessity to have a dialogue at the highest level. The event that highlighted their rapprochement movement was Tanaka’s visit to Moscow, which took place at Soviet invitation from 7 to 10 October 1973, 17 years after Hatoyama’s visit to Moscow. The summit meetings were also regarded as the Second Peace Treaty Negotiation, following the first negotiation held in the previous year upon hira’s visit to Moscow. As is well known, no peace treaty was signed, and as far as the territorial problem is concerned, only a vague expression about ‘yet unresolved problems remaining since Second World War’ appeared in the Joint Communiqué. For the Soviet-Japanese negotiations and the summit meeting in the 1950s that were dealt with in the previous chapter, archival documents recently opened in some countries proved very useful. However, as far as the summit meetings of 1973 and later are concerned, such documents are not at present available. Nevertheless, using currently available sources, the following sections are devoted to analysis of Japanese and Soviet decisions in terms of improved relations and the territorial problem during the period leading up to and including Tanaka’s visit to Moscow, which highlighted the chance to normalise relations between Japan and the USSR in the 1970s. Though top decision makers who attended the summit meetings, such as Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka and

The two sides recognised that to conclude a peace treaty by resolving the yet unresolved problems remaining since Second World War could contribute to the establishment of truly good-neighbourly relations between the two countries and conducted negotiations of matters concerning the content of such a peace treaty.1