The current efforts of Moscow and Tokyo to unblock the territorial impasse are complicated by some barriers of a socio-psychological character, including mutual mistrust and contradictory images of past events. Public opinion surveys reveal predominant vectors in Russo-Japanese relations, which the authors believe strongly correlate with the evolution of the contradictory images. Apparently, these images surprisingly exhibit interrelated ‘mirror’ dynamics connected with the independent variable – events happening in bilateral relations. Apparently, these images surprisingly exhibit interrelated ‘mirror’ dynamics connected with the independent variable – events happening in bilateral relations. The authors also investigate how public opinion has a real impact on politics and relations between states. In the authors’ opinion, Russia and Japan definitely do not have major unresolved problems in their bilateral relations, with the exception of the territorial problem. However, why is the public so suspicious of Russia? Can the territorial dispute be the only reason? It is far from that. The analyzed arguments give grounds to believe that it is very difficult for Japan and Russia to find a mutually acceptable solution, as their relations are not free from suspicion and mutual mistrust which are deeply rooted in the history of their relations. It will be much easier to overcome the mistrust and, accordingly, to reach agreement on the territorial issue when they manage to calmly analyze the historical grudges, understand their nature and origin, and realize that this is history, which has no contemporary value.