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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Tokyo is not worried about the “Crimean issue”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made it clear that Tokyo will negotiate about the fate of the “Northern territories”, not linking them with Japan’s participation in sanctions against Russia and in isolation from the relations of Tokyo to the “Crimean issue”. In Japan’s position prevailed pragmatism, as manifested in the development of economic contacts to bypass the sanctions, experts say.

During a debate in the budget Committee of the lower house of the Japanese Parliament, the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe announced his position on Russian-Japanese negotiations, sanctions and the question of the annexation of Crimea to Russia.

“Japan at the same time and imposed sanctions against the state, and is negotiating with the state on the issue, in which she is interested”

“In connection with joining of Crimea to Russia we said that it does not recognize changes in the world through military force,” he said. – We take in this issue a common position with other countries of the group of seven and imposed sanctions against Russia, the problem is wider: it is relevant to the situation in the East of Ukraine. We have repeatedly called for the strict implementation of the Minsk agreement, Japan urged that not only Russia, but also Ukraine.”

However, said Abe, “I don’t understand how it relates to the negotiations on the territories of the Russian South Kuril Islands, which are claimed by Japan – approx. OPINION) and the conclusion of a peace Treaty.”

“The US does not command us”

In addition, Abe also believes that its policy on negotiations with Russia will affect relations with the United States. “The problem of a peace Treaty with Russia Japan resolves itself. USA not command us to do, and this is impossible. At the same time, we cooperate closely with the United States as allies, to conduct an exchange of views. We are not consulting on the details, but in General keep US aware of our contacts with Russia”, – he explained.

Recall that Shinzo Abe has already held 14 meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The last time the two leaders had a substantive discussion in Vladivostok during the East economic forum, where the Japanese Prime Minister presented a plan for the expansion of economic cooperation in eight areas, the parties agreed to intensify negotiations on a peace agreement. In December expected the visit of Russian President to Japan, which Tokyo considers as an important stage of the negotiations.

Only four, and not one less

Meanwhile, on the question of the return of the Kuril Islands in position Abe remains adamant. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe considers all of the Southern Kuriles traditional territories of his country and comes from such a negotiating position with Russia.

The Prime Minister of Japan has categorically denied reports that Tokyo supposedly agree to a peace Treaty only after receiving of a smaller part of Southern Kuriles – Shikotan island and the uninhabited ridge of Habomai, which account for approximately 7% of the area of these territories. Japan still claims the four disputed territory, including the relatively large Islands of Kunashir and Iturup.

“Four Northern Islands is the ancestral territory of Japan. At the talks with Russia we would like to determine the identity of these Islands and sign on that basis the peace Treaty,” Abe said.

Recall that the Kuril Islands are the subject of long-standing territorial dispute between Russia and Japan – Tokyo claims the Islands, referring to bilateral Treatise on trade and borders of 1855. The return of the Islands Tokyo made it a condition of signing a peace Treaty with Russia, which after the Second world war and was not signed.

The position of Moscow consists that Southern Kuriles became part of the Soviet Union at the end of the war and the Russian sovereignty over them, having international legal formalization, can not be questioned.

As Russia and Japan shared area (click to enlarge)“Abe made this statement exclusively to USA”

Leading researcher of the research Center Japan Institute for Far Eastern studies Viktor Pavlyatenko find it strange that Abe, on the one hand, said that the process of peace Treaty negotiations and sanctions against Russia are not connected.

“It turns out that Japan has simultaneously imposed sanctions against the state, and is negotiating with the state on the issue, in which she is interested. I believe that Abe made the announcement exclusively to the United States, to concrete negotiations, it is irrelevant. There comes a time when leaders begin to negotiate, to seek out new options,” – said the expert newspaper VIEW.

Also, Pavlyatenko noted that so far no concrete agreements between Russia and Japan has not been reached, and Tokyo only said that the plan will be announced during Putin’s visit on December 15.

To expand the TRANS-Siberian railway to the Japanese Islands

Meanwhile, in parallel with negotiations on the conclusion of a peace Treaty, actively expanding economic cooperation between Russia and Japan. Sources in Japan are studying a project to extend the TRANS-Siberian railway to Hokkaido and a program of comprehensive modernization of the railway between Kazan and Vladivostok.

The project to extend the TRANS-Siberian railway to Japan will boost not only the flow of goods between the two countries, but also to enhance tourism and other human contacts. Japan is also preparing a program that will allow you to use this initiative to diversify the Russian economy, now dependent from the proceeds from the sale of resources, reports TASS with reference to “Sankei”.

Specifically we are talking about connecting bridges or tunnels of the Sakhalin island with the mainland across the Strait with a width of 7 km and the subsequent construction of the railway station on the island of Hokkaido through against La Perouse width of 42 km.

However, the newspaper reports, there was a project to speed up traffic on the TRANS-Siberian railway on the route between Kazan and Vladivostok. This program has been specifically studied in the part of Japanese companies that intend to supply complete equipment, including trains, signaling system, new rail canvas.

The newspaper notes that Moscow has submitted to the Tokyo about 50 projects of prospective cooperation, including the creation of an energy bridge for the transfer of electricity from Russia to Japan. Tokyo also offers Moscow a package of economic cooperation in eight directions.

Currently, these programs are specified in anticipation of the upcoming December visit to Japan by Russian President Vladimir Putin. By strengthening bilateral cooperation, Tokyo hopes to create more favorable conditions for negotiations on the issue of the South Kurils and the conclusion of a bilateral peace Treaty.

It was also reported that the Japanese authorities intend to push forward the process of territorial negotiations with Russia, offering it as part of the expansion of economic cooperation technologies in medicine and mailings.

On the eve of the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe discussed specific projects of economic cooperation which is planned to conclude agreements.


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