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  •  Northern Islands of Japan/Russia (1+ / 0-)
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    Japan couldn't have cared less about the islands until the late 19th century.  But nations get greedy. Japan invaded Taiwan, Korea, China, areas throughout the South Pacific, and even set up its own dream colony in Manchuria.  But in the last days of WW2, seeing that Japan could not defend Hokkaido and the Northern Islands, Russia pounced (Truman drew the line at Hokkaido).  Now Japan wants the islands back -- because it wasn't as if, prior to 1945, they had been, like, playing for keeps.  Of course they would have given all that stuff back that they conquered!  Of course!  And so should Russia.  

    Last year, Medvedev was willing to make a concession.  He didn't give them the islands, but he did give them a nicely plump middle finger.  

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