During the 1955-56 negotiations on restoring Russo-Japanese relations, the Soviet Union used Japanese prisoners of war as “political hostages,” according to Japanese diplomatic documents declassified Tuesday.

Diplomatic experts say it is unusual for Japanese documents that clearly state the Soviet Union used POWs as leverage to be made public, and there is speculation that Tokyo released the documents for political reasons of its own. The release came the same day that the Japanese government abandoned hopes of concluding a decades-old territorial dispute with Russia by the end of the year.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.