Japan's Territorial Disputes -- With Russia and China

SAINT PETERSBURG - SEPTEMBER 05:  Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) greets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L)  at the
SAINT PETERSBURG - SEPTEMBER 05: Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) greets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) at the G20 summit on September 5, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The G20 summit is expected to be dominated by the issue of military action in Syria while issues surrounding the global economy, including tax avoidance by multinationals, will also be discussed duing the two-day summit. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)

Yuriko Koike, Japan's former defense minister and national security adviser, was chairwoman of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party's General Council and currently is a member of the National Diet.

FROM PROJECT SYNDICATE

TOKYO -- For Japanese leaders and citizens, President Vladimir Putin's brutal annexation of Crimea was an unsurprising return to the normal paradigm of Russian history. Indeed, most Japanese regard the move as having been determined by some expansionist gene in Russia's political DNA, rather than by Putin himself or the specifics of the Ukraine crisis. Japan is particularly concerned with Russian expansionism, because it is the only G-7 country that currently has a territorial dispute with Russia, which has occupied its Northern Territories since the waning days of World War II.