About the so-called new approach in the development of relations with Russia, it became known earlier, after the Sochi talks Shinzo Abe with the Russian leadership. This approach is simple: Japanese economic incentives in exchange for the South Kuriles.
7 May is a major site for the English version of the Japanese newspaper Nikkei He cited some details about the talks between Shinzo Abe and Vladimir Putin.
The article indicates that the Japanese Prime Minister offered the President of Russia an eight-point plan concerning the development of bilateral relations.
Shinzo Abe suggested that the Russian leader build factories in the Far East for processing liquefied gas. In addition, they discussed the construction of ports, airports, hospitals and other infrastructure facilities.
However, as it becomes clear from the material of the publication, the Land of the Rising Sun started a kind of exchange: Tokyo intends to make progress in the negotiations on the "northern territories". This is stated quite frankly: "This calls for the Northern Territories". That is, the proposed economic cooperation is based on the progress in reaching an agreement on “the islands occupied by Russia, which are called northern territories in Japan”.
Also known are the statements of officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan related to the new stage of negotiations, and the assessment of this stage by Putin (in the transfer of the Japanese side).
As reported in an interview Interfax The representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Yasuhisa Kawamura, Shinzo Abe believes that he can achieve a breakthrough in negotiations with Russia.
“Prime Minister Abe said that he had a wide and frankly direct exchange of views with President Putin on the peace treaty and other issues. Prime Minister Abe said he felt he could make a breakthrough in negotiations on a peace treaty between Japan and Russia, which are in stagnation, ”said Kawamura. “As Prime Minister Abe said, President Putin has the same feeling, he also recognizes this,” the spokesman added.
“Prime Minister Abe and President Putin have agreed to use a new approach and make a breakthrough in this matter, given that future Japanese-Russian relations should be built,” Kawamura noted further.
As for the "problem of the islands", the Japanese diplomat said that the "fundamental position" of Tokyo is "the conclusion of a peace treaty."
Interfax recalls that in February 2016, the same Kawamura said: “Japan will not conclude a peace treaty with Russia until the issue of the northern territories is resolved.”
As for Moscow, she insisted that the question of the islands of the South Kuril Ridge was closed.
A “breakthrough” in negotiations with Moscow was voiced by Shinzo Abe himself, speaking at a meeting of the committee of the ruling party in Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party.
“At the talks, I felt that we would be able to bring the dialogue that had been going on all this time out of stagnation and make a real breakthrough,” the prime minister quotes. TASS.
Abe also told the party members that the negotiation process will continue actively. There will be a high-level dialogue on the problem of the “northern territories”.
TASS notes that on May 9, Secretary General of the Japanese Cabinet of Ministers Yoshihide Suga announced the “new approach”: “In order to make a breakthrough in the negotiations that have been going on so far, the leaders of the two countries have agreed on a new approach: and continue the dialogue in order to find a solution acceptable to both parties. ”
Suga also said that there is no change in the position of Japan on the South Kuriles: "First, solve the problem of the four islands, then the conclusion of a peace treaty."
Estimated by observers who leads "Russian newspaper"The visit of Shinzo Abe to Russia will contribute to the revitalization of bilateral relations.
The Japanese Prime Minister expressed hope for a meeting with the Russian President in July on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Summit in Mongolia, in September at the G20 meeting in China and in October at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum. In addition, Japanese representatives are expected to attend the Eastern Economic Forum in September in Vladivostok. It is also important to note that the visit of Shinzo Abe to Russia took place immediately before the G7 meeting in Japan (to be held in May). Earlier, Barack Obama negatively reacted to the idea of a trip of the Japanese leader to Russia.
As RIA News" Kazuhiko Togo (former diplomat, political analyst, authoritative expert on Russian-Japanese relations, director of the World Research Institute at the Institute of Industry in Kyoto), relations between Tokyo and Moscow have returned to the point where they were before the Ukrainian crisis.
“The relations of our countries developed very well during the first year (2013. - Note) before the Ukrainian events, but then stopped. I think both leaders wanted to bring them back to their previous level. Now, thanks to the meeting in Sochi, the relationship has returned to the point where they were before the Ukrainian crisis. I believe that in this sense it was a good meeting for both leaders. But I think that there are still many difficult tasks ahead, ”the agency quotes the expert.
Togo believes that Japan could, as a mediator, convey to the Western partners Russia's position on the Crimea and the events in Ukraine. "Russia is now under sanctions from Europe and the United States, and in this situation it is important for her to make sure that relations with Japan are developing," the expert said.
As for the “new approach”, the expert said the following about this:
“I don’t know what Abe means by the“ new approach ”to solving the island problem. It is necessary to ask him. But I think that a rough plan of compromise on the islands, a plan that I would consider a “new approach”, which we made public with the former Russian ambassador to Japan, Alexander Panov, in 2013, implies the return of Habomai and Shikotan to Japan on the 1956 Joint Declaration of the Year, and the transformation of Kunashir and Iturup into a joint special economic zone, including the legislative framework. ”
The expert clarified: “If we follow the negotiations that have led our countries so far, then, as a rule, they come to exactly this.” “In 1992, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev made a secret proposal on which both countries conclude a convention on the transfer of Habomai and Shikotan, and agree on negotiations on Kunashir and Iturup. After which a peace treaty is concluded. However, this formulation of the question did not suit Japan at that time, since there were no guarantees of the transfer of Kunashir and Iturup, ”the former diplomat who prepared this meeting recalled. According to Togo, a compromise would solve a territorial problem; making Kunashir and Iturup a special economic zone would enable the Russians and the Japanese to work together on the development of these territories.
International Orientalist Vladimir Zakharov finds that at the 6 meeting in May in Sochi between President Putin and Prime Minister Abe many vague and contradictory formulations were born.
“The Russian side never promised anyone to return the four South Kuril Islands of Japan, which it considers under all norms of international law its sovereign territory acquired as a result of the Second World War,” the expert writes on the website TASS.
"On the contrary, on the eve and after the negotiations in Sochi, the Japanese side sought to impose the idea that a peace treaty with Russia should be coupled with a solution to a territorial problem (such statements were made both in Japan itself for the sake of nationalist sentiment, and as Abe approaches Russia - during visits of the Japanese prime minister to Paris and London). At the same time, realizing that such a formulation of the question will not meet with understanding on the part of Moscow, the Japanese launched a version of the supposedly "new approaches of the Russian and Japanese leadership to solving the territorial problem."
According to the expert, the negotiations of the two leaders only outlined the “short-term perspective”, which will be clarified in multi-level diplomatic and technical negotiations.
The expert also points out that now Shinzo Abe is awaiting “difficult explanations with the United States,” because earlier Mr. Obama tried to insist on canceling Abe’s visit to Russia. Abe himself will have to decide on the whole front of pressure on Russia: from sanctions measures to the problems of building an anti-Russian line in East Asia and the APR right up to revising the 9 article of the Constitution of Japan.
Important, we note, for Tokyo is not only a question of attitude to the "new approach" of the United States and the West in general. The attitude to the Russian-Japanese negotiations and possible economic partnership will hardly please the Chinese, who have economic plans, strategic and geopolitical, including those related to island conflicts.
Agency Xinhua paid close attention to these issues.
The publication cites the opinion of the deputy director of the China Institute of International Studies, Ruan Zongze. He believes that Abe "failed in the development of the Japanese economy," and only because "he is trying to divert attention from domestic problems and achieve improvement and progress in foreign policy."
This expert does not agree with the opinion that Abe’s visit to Russia undermines Chinese-Russian relations: “I believe that Japan will not be able to drive a wedge between China and Russia. Indeed, recently, Sino-Russian relations have reached a new height, and they will not change due to the provocation of Shinzo Abe. After all, China and Russia are two great powers and have a strong position. ”
In addition, by his actions, Abe will cause major discontent with the United States. “Washington deeply hates Japan for privately establishing contacts with Russia for its own personal interests,” said Ruan Zongze.
Head of the School of Oriental Studies at the HSE Alexei Maslov, answering the question "Free Press"I appreciated the possible benefits of a rapprochement between Moscow and Tokyo, and also spoke about the “linking” of the territorial issue and joint economic plans.
He said that Japan’s media corporations, such as Nikkei or NHK, “trying to communicate public opinion,” assert that there is a linkage: Japan is supposedly investing in Russia, since Moscow is ready to “return” the South Kurils. In Japanese society, the idea reigns that any steps in the economy should be tied to the settlement of a territorial dispute. “Let's say the Russians would give one of the small islands of the Habomai range. And it would be a symbolic gesture that would open up the possibility of economic cooperation. ” However, Abe never spoke about this. “The position of Russia is,” the expert reminded, “that we do not link economic interaction with the territorial issue.”
The expert noted that Russia has a technological need in Japan: “In the context of sectoral sanctions, we need Japanese technology. Japan under US pressure imposed sanctions against the Russian Federation, but they practically do not affect the real interaction between the countries. Agree, the ban on opening accounts by a number of Russian politicians in Japanese banks is not serious. ” In addition, Russia "is not very comfortable living in a priority cooperation with China." After all, Moscow does not even receive from Beijing the amount of investment that it was counting on, making the “Eastern turn”. Therefore, you should "create a competitive environment." Let Japan and China compete for the Russian market, Maslov said. Finally, the expert noted in conclusion, it is difficult to deny that the interaction of Russia with Japan would mean “an image breakthrough in the field of sanctions”.
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Thus, following the results of the recent negotiations, despite the large-scale plan of eight points and the statement about the “new approach”, there is no progress, and there are no prospects too. Both sides will clearly continue to insist on their own: Moscow - that the issue of the islands of the Southern Kuril Ridge is closed, and Tokyo - on its desire to solve the issue of the "northern territories" in full. At such polar points of view, any compromise is hardly possible.
Why then so much noise in the Japanese press?
And why does China so irritably criticize the Japanese desire to cooperate with Russia?
The hype about the “new approach” Abe's cabinet kills three birds with one stone: it strengthens the party’s popularity on the eve of parliamentary elections; trying to shatter Moscow’s position on the South Kuriles at the right moment, using Russia's economic weakening due to Western sanctions and low oil prices; indirectly putting pressure on China, which turned out to be not so necessary and important (and even more so “strategic”) partner for Russia, which Moscow would like to see it. Chineses last "hare", of course, very angry.
Observed and commented on Oleg Chuvakin
- especially for topwar.ru
- especially for topwar.ru