THE JOINT Soviet-Japanese Declaration which put an end to the state of war and restored in full diplomatic and consular relations between both countries, signed in Moscow on October 19, 1956, undoubtedly played an important part in developing mutual understanding and cooperation between the USSR and Japan and promoted peace and security in the Far East. Of great importance for normalising Soviet-Japanese relations was the fact that the Soviet Union supported Japan's application for United Nations membership, renounced all reparation claims on Japan and made a number of other friendly steps with regard to the Japanese people.

Along with the Declaration, the convention on fishing in the open sea in the northwestern part of the Pacific and also the agreement of cooperation on rescuing people in distress at sea, which were concluded on May 14, 1956, came into force. Taking into account the reciprocal interest in preserving and rationally utilising fish and other marine resources, the USSR and Japan reached an understanding on close cooperation in this sphere. A protocol on the development of trade and the reciprocal granting of most-favoured-nation treatment was signed.

The restoration of Soviet-Japanese relations was a great victory for the peaceloving forces and an important contribution to the consolidation of peace in the Far East. This victory was all the more important because both international and Japanese reactionary forces did everything to prevent a normalisation between the two countries. To this end, US Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, exerted brazen pressure on the Japanese cabinet, while Japanese reactionaries resorted to various activities from covert sabotage to raids by hooligans on the Soviet representation in Tokyo.

Japanese Communists, the Socialist Party, the trade-union body SOHYO, and many noted scientific and cultural leaders came out in favour of the earliest possible normalisation of Soviet-Japanese relations.

In 1953 and 1954 the campaign for normalising relations ...

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