I hope this is only tough talk from Mr. Medvedev. As we saw recently in SE Asia, between Thai and Cambodia these small border disputes can escalate to needless levels. And forget the lack of U.S. responce, why hasn't the United Nations tried seriously to resolve this; the main puprose of the U.N. is to resolve these foolish diplomatic disputes in the prevention of armed conflict. If Medvedev follows through, I think the U.S. should respond, and respond forcefully, to show Russia that this soviet style aggresion wont be tolerated in this modern era of international discource.
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If Japan wants to settle this without any Russian gain, why not take dispute to the United Nations. Personally I think whomever administers the islands should own them, that is to say they belong rightfully to the Russian Federation. We know Russia wont simply hand them over so if Japan wants them, they should offer some sort of indemnity to Russia in exchange for the islands. Japan also should offer indemnity to China, or drop the claim on Senkaku. These issues only serve to stir up nationalists, why they can't be solved more quickly and with less consternation is always a matter of much confusion to myself.
I have one other suggestion, tri-lateral discusion between Russia, China, and Japan, to give the islands to the larger countries, in exchange for economic concessions. Japan will need closer cooperation with these two countries as their economies grow.
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