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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Japanese Prime Minister for a meeting with Putin went against Obama


In the history with the forthcoming visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Russia there is a new juicy detail. Namely, the pressure from the Obama administration to cancel the visit and a fundamental failure on the part of the Japanese to go for it. Does this mean that relations between Moscow and Tokyo may come a Renaissance?

VZGLYAD looked in detail at the history of Russian-Japanese relations, in which the United States has always been a very active player (not to say too active). And the fact that the visit of the Japanese Prime Minister has virtually agreed, at first glance, testified to the fact that the US don’t mind another personal meeting, Abe and Putin (in Russia). However, according to the Agency Kyodo, the situation was not so clear.

“The US has too many serious problems in the middle East and Europe in order to concentrate on easy Fronde from Japan”

In early February, President Barack Obama asked Abe to withdraw from the trip. According to the American President that now is not the time for such visits due to divergence of the positions of Moscow and Washington on Ukraine and Syria.

Such news do not apply to those state officials officially deny or confirm officially. Therefore, it is unlikely we will ever know whether Obama asked Abe not to travel to Russia, told Kyodo whether the sources of reliable information and by whom were these sources. One cannot exclude the fact that this “leak” was organized by the office of the Abe, in order to please the feelings of those voters who believe that Tokyo is too often looks back at WA (and there are many).

Assuming that this conversation really was, in the words of Obama is nothing new or surprising. Secretary of state John Kerry in between talks with Sergey Lavrov and regular trips to Moscow also manages to say about “the growing international isolation of Russia”. And quite in the spirit of Obama to sustain this line, expressing the wish that Abe refrained from a visit to Putin.

Another thing is that in this case the actions of the American President can hardly be called otherwise, except double game, as did the head of the Duma Committee on international Affairs Alexei Pushkov. “Obama is trying to isolate Russia – Japan advises the Prime Minister to go to Moscow. Meanwhile, in Syria without us can not do. Double play” – wrote Pushkov in his Twitter account.

But in the double game of the Americans is also nothing new. Forcing the European Union, that Japan, Australia and several other countries to join anti-Russian sanctions, the United States ignored the sanctions when it was convenient. For example, in the case of deliveries of rocket engines.

But regardless of whether there was actually such a conversation between American President and Japanese Prime Minister, the main result of this history is that the meeting between Abe and Putin will still be held. Japanese Prime Minister confirmed his image at home and proved himself an independent politician, for whom the interests of his country more important than the instructions from Washington. Although, of course, it is worth thinking about, I would ignore the request of Abe, Obama, if he was not a “lame duck” – the outgoing President, whose chances to hand over power to a member of his party seem to be non-obvious.

The Ambassador of Japan in Russia, Toecheese Kazuki already declared intention to make every effort to prepare the visit of Prime Minister of the country to Russia. Note that, since the visit will be considered informal (official preparing for a long time and require a large number of approvals), then Abe will not visit Moscow, and one of the Russian regions, most likely – Krasnodar Krai, more precisely, Sochi.

Of course, to expect a breakthrough from this visit is not necessary, as the planned return visit of Vladimir Putin to Japan. State leaders have personally met 12 times already. The positions of Russia and Japan on the occasion of Kunashir, Iturup, Habomai and Shikotan are diametrically opposed, and if there was a period when Moscow was willing to part with two of the four disputed Islands for the sake of signing a peace Treaty, it was in the past. And the only way for rapprochement between the two countries is to leave the problem of Islands “out”, deferring resolution of this question either indefinitely or for a very long time.

As Russia and Japan shared area (click to enlarge)of Course, after years of propaganda, talk about the need to return the “Northern territories” is to expand Japanese public opinion and to force the citizens of the Country of the rising sun to come to terms with the fact that in their lifetime there is no “return” will not happen, would be problematic. It is unlikely that Abe does not understand this.

But an even bigger moral trauma for Japanese is a long-term political dependence on the United States and the inability to achieve the withdrawal of us military bases in Okinawa. Recall that those who came to power on a promise to do this, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama did not last at the head of the government and of the year. Was not able to take up the post of Prime Minister and disposed to cooperation with Russia Yoshiro Mori.

If you stop to represent the main foreign policy challenge Japan the Kuril Islands, and to translate attention to pretty annoying for the Japanese 70 years of American military bases, a peace Treaty with Russia could be concluded without a final decision on the issue of the Islands. But, of course, it depends not so much on Tokyo, how much from Washington.

In the last year of the reign of Barack Obama, the US has too many serious problems in the middle East and Europe in order to concentrate on easy Fronde from Japan. But if the question of removing us military bases or on the conclusion of the Russo-Japanese peace Treaty will indeed stand, Washington will immediately remind you of Tokyo, who is the winner in the Second world war and who protects Japan from North Korean and Chinese threats. And it will happen regardless of who becomes President – trump, Clinton or somebody else.

Does this mean that talks with Japan pointless? Of course not. Politics is the art of the possible. The closer and more confidential will be the political relations of Moscow and Tokyo, the deeper will be versatile and economic cooperation, the more likely it is that all problems in Russian-Japanese relations will be gradually smoothed.

And sooner or later a peace Treaty would be signed, and the Islands resolved – how to solve all problems in relations between States.

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