“Japan is the de facto first moved away from the standard within the G7 shape of relations with Russia”, – with these words the Japanese scientists comment on the visit of Sergei Lavrov and Sergei Shoigu in Tokyo. Communication with Japanese officials, the result of which is discordant, not without discussions about the Southern Kuriles and the Russian missile complexes.
Russia in 2017 will fully complete the installation of missile systems that will be able to protect the entire perimeter of the Russian Federation as from the sea and air, – this was announced Monday in Tokyo, defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, responding to a question about the deployment of missile complex “Bastion” on the Kuril Islands. This statement by the head of the Russian defense Minister said after the meeting in the format of “2+2”: for the second time in the history of Russian-Japanese relations of the head of the foreign and defense ministries of the two countries met in a similar format.
“They discussed… the possibility of a visa-free regime between Sakhalin region and Hokkaido Prefecture”
The placement division of the Russian troops and the deployment of missiles on the Kuril Islands was one of the most painful issues in these negotiations. One of the first, which raised the Japan’s defense Minister Tomomi Inada was the Tokyo protest over the introduction of the latest coastal missile complex (BRC) “Ball” on the island of Kunashir and the above-mentioned BRK “Bastion” on the island of Iturup. Both Islands, we recall, the Japanese side considers the so-called Northern territories, making them territorial claims.
In response to Japanese claims Shoigu said that the deployment of the division in the Kuril Islands is carried out solely to protect Russian territory and not directed against any state. “The division created over the last six years”, – said the head of the defense Ministry.
Flags in guests and access to the “paternal graves”
The first 3.5 years of negotiations in a format “2+2” was notable not only for sparring. As said Shoigu, Russia expressed its readiness to conclude with Japan an “agreement on prevention of dangerous activities”. Explain: similar to the agreement the USSR and the USA in 1989, was intended to minimize the risk of accidental armed conflict between the units of the Soviet and American armies in time of peace, mostly during the exercise. In March last year, the agreement was signed by Russia and the DPRK. “Now between Japan and Russia have an agreement on prevention of incidents at sea, which sets forth specifically and in detail, the rules on the prevention of accidental accidents, – said on this occasion, the head of the defense Ministry of Japan Tomomi Inada. – I understand that this agreement is operating effectively.”
In addition, Inada announced that Moscow and Tokyo have agreed on the entering the fleet of training ships of the Japan self-defense Forces in the Russian port this year.
Earlier, Japan gave Russia the proposals on joint development, namely on joint economic activities on Southern Kuriles. The head of the Japanese foreign Ministry Fumio Kishida expressed willingness to “deepen the discussion on drawing up a list of priority projects”. Also Moscow and Tokyo, will be engaged in the organization of flights to the Southern Kuriles to relatives could visit the graves of former residents of the Islands. In particular, resolved to “coordinate the issue of establishing multiple points of entry and exit,” said Kishida.
His Russian counterpart, foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: “we Discussed the problems of further simplification of communication between citizens of Japan and the Russian Federation… including the possibility of visa-free regime between the Sakhalin region and the Prefecture of Hokkaido”. As reported TASS, one of the main themes of the conversation Lavrov and Kishida was to prepare the visit of Prime Minister of Japan shinzō Abe to Russia, which will be held in the third week of April and involves a meeting with President Vladimir Putin. We will remind that the previous meeting between Putin and Abe have held quite recently, in December 2016.
From Pyongyang to Palmyra
Among other things, discussed the problems of the world, exciting both Moscow and Tokyo of the missile programme of the DPRK and the response to it – the deployment of us missile defense system THAAD in South Korea.
As Russia and Japan shared area (click to enlarge)At the end of the meeting with Fumio Kishida Lavrov called these steps of Washington’s disproportionate response to Pyongyang, and added that the missile system carries serious risks for the entire Asia-Pacific region. While Lavrov stressed that the positions of Moscow and Tokyo agree that “North Korea must strictly abide by all resolutions of the UN security Council”.
Sergei Shoigu after a meeting with Tomomi Indoi said that Russia details informed Japan about the situation in Syria, and also invited Tokyo to participate in the provision of medical care to the victims of the conflict in the region and in the clearing of Palmyra. “It’s time to start talking about post-conflict reconstruction in Syria,” he stressed and noted that he expects here to cooperate with Japan.
“For the first time after the Crimean crisis”
“By itself, the format of the meeting, when they meet at the same time, the foreign Minister and the Ministry of defense, portends a new phase not only in the Russian-Japanese, but in General in international relations,” – said in comments the newspaper VIEW, the Japanese scientist, Professor of the law faculty of the University of Hosei (Tokyo) Nobuo Simotomai.
“For the first time since the Crimean crisis, the Russian leadership is composed of both foreign Minister and defense Minister visited one of the G7 countries. Japan de facto first moved away from the standard within the G7 shape of relations with Russia”, – says the analyst.
The expert believes that Russia and Japan took a step towards each other, because now, with a victory trump at the election of the President of the United States, laid a new format of international relations. “No one knows what it will ultimately represent, but this is already being prepared”, – he added.
In addition, the expert stressed that defence cooperation between such countries as Russia and Japan can stabilize the crisis in the region. “And do the complicated Russian-Japanese relations can be improved substantially after a meeting in this format,” suggested Simotomai.
“This is not the first meeting of this kind, communication in this format has been already held. And, in my opinion, well, they are resumed. It’s just a normal diplomatic work. But the situation in which such meetings were conducted, was clearly not normal,” – said in comments the newspaper VIEW leading researcher of the Institute of Oriental studies, Professor at the University of Tokyo Takushoku Basil Molodyakov.
He did not believe the talks breakthrough. But, he added Molodiakov, even if these meetings will not bring any tangible results, the most important is the continuation of the negotiation process, exchange of opinions and information. “It’s just the normal course of bilateral relations”, – concluded the analyst.