politics

Putin tells Abe he hopes for peace treaty this year

59 Comments
By Denis Pinchuk and Polina Nikolskaya

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The left has always had a penchant for wars.

They're not the left though Fred. Blair and Bush weren't lefties and neither are those who want to use the Japanese SDF as a proxy army in their global imperial wars. The Saudis are committing genocide in the Yemen, the Israelis are slaughtering Palestinians with little complaint from a USA which supports a neo-Nazi party in the Ukraine. How long will it be until the JSDF are coming home in body bags?

12 ( +16 / -4 )

The left has always had a penchant for wars. Simply look at its voting record.

lol yet the last 2 Gulf wars and afghanistan wars were started by republicans

10 ( +10 / -0 )

It's deeply ironic how so many anti-Trump Americans want war with Russia, while pro-Trump Russians want peace. What a crazy, mixed-up world we live in!

7 ( +15 / -8 )

It’s doubtful whether Putin would really want to settle the territorial dispute with Japan. The Russians can never forget the humiliation after their defeat in the Russo-Japanese War, that broke out in February 1904 as a result of growing tension in Korea and China. The Russian stronghold of Port Arthur, in China, fell to the Japanese in December 1904. In May 1905, having steamed 18,000 miles from Europe, the Russian fleet was destroyed by Admiral Togo's ships at Tsushima – a stunning victory that established Japan as a rising military power. In 1906 Teddy Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in ending the Russo-Japanese war.

In August 1945 Joseph Stalin welcomed the unconditional surrender of Japan. Under the terms of the agreement the disputed southern Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands would pass into Soviet hands. The islands had been occupied by Japan since the Russo-Japanese war.

In 2010 President Medvedev - the first Russian leader to set foot on the disputed territories in the Pacific Ocean – angered Japan by visiting Kunashiri, one of the four islands known as the Northern Territories by the Japanese and Kurile Islands by the Russians. In 2015 he visited the region again – as prime minister. As always, Putin lets someone else take the bullet.

In December 2016 Putin was in Japan to talk to Shinzo Abe about the return of at least two of the four islands, which Japanese consider “stolen” by Stalin at the end of World War II. Abe went out of his way to make the visit “special” for Putin by arranging for the first day to be spent in his home town, Nagato on the main island Honshu. In front of TV cameras Putin turned down Abe’s invitation to enjoy the delicious food prepared for them after the intense talks, saying “best not to get too tired” and left.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Is this before or after Abe changes article 9 of the constitution?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Putin is putting it over poor little Shinzo again. He knows that Abe needs something to placate the people at home, at first Putin says it is difficult to discuss returning the islands, which Abe really wants, but now he floats the idea of signing a peace treaty and then dealing with the island issue later. Which of course will never happen. Abe gets played, but can still come home with something to save face, and Putin has scored a huge coup, by signing a peace deal with a US partner and now paving the way for more Japan Russia economic ties. Well played Vladimir, well played!

6 ( +11 / -5 )

The Kuril Islands are populated by almost 20,000 people, majority russians, so it will never be returned to Japan.

But now Putin will be the one who wants peace, and Abe the one who makes things difficult. Well played.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Why is it that everytime I call out both sides, lefties only see it as calling out one?

You didn't call out both sides. You only called out the left:

The left has always had a penchant for wars. Simply look at its voting record. True colours shining through is all.

If you really wanted to be accurate about it, you could say that the left has always been willing to support the wars started by the right.

America is a military nation no doubt.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japan relies on burning gas, oil and coal for energy. Abe and the LDP have de-emphasized alternatives to burning hydrocarbons. To supply its energy needs, Japan is dependent on oil, gas and coal exporting countries, like Russia. Japan is resource poor. The US, especially under Trump, can no longer be trusted. Putin holds the cards in negotiations with Japan.

Abe and the LDP have stuck Japan in an extremely vulnerable position. Japan will continue to burn huge amounts of hydrocarbons adding more pollutants to an already heavily polluted world increasing the likelihood of climate change related problems - e.g. typhoons.

@ALFIE t's deeply ironic how so many anti-Trump Americans want war with Russia, while pro-Trump Russians want peace.

I have yet to read anyone, anti-Trumper or not, say they wanted war with Russia. I have, though, read pro-Trump and pro-Putin posters on JT imply it’s Putin’s way or war. Posters who see one pole v. the other, who see nothing between the extremes, contribute to misunderstandings, further increasing tensions. But that seems to be what they want. Maybe they’re the ones who want war.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

So in other words absolutely nothing has changed. Who actually expected Putin to hand over the islands?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

But now Putin will be the one who wants peace, and Abe the one who makes things difficult. Well played.

Putin aside for the moment - since when has Abe actually wanted peace? Everything the LDP does is a passive-aggressive hack toward changing Article 9.

It Belongs to Japan, The End.

Well... clearly not. But if you wanna go on living in that little bubble illusion you've made there, suit yourself.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Actually that's incorrect. What I should have said was that the Democrats have always been willing to support the Republicans' wars.

These are not synonymous with the left and right.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Putin pulls a suppossedly impromptu move and wants Abe to believe it? Thats probably not something you can pull off.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@fredwall And the left is silent.

The 'left' (those with leftist beliefs plus the right's enemies, real and imagined) will probably never be silent when it comes to Trump and Putin, two leaders who are as far rightwing as any leaders seen since the 1930's.

@commaenteer But nobody wants war.

'Nobody' - the absolutes once again. I'm sure there are probably some who do, after all it's good for economies and keeps the global .01% in power plus makes them even richer. Some consider China 'left', most consider the US and Russia 'right'. Which ones want war.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Putin is passing the ball to Abe way , way beyond the 3-point line!

He knows pretty well that Shinzo is not Steph Curry so maybe Vlad is really aiming for joint development of the islands.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@fredwallak Otherwise there'd be loads more people vocal of the perpetrated war crimes.

Given that currently the nations currently committing ‘war crimes’ in Syria and Yemen are: Syria (a rightist regime); Russia (an ultra-rightist regime); the US (a right wing state lead by an ultra-right executive); Saudi Arabia (a rightist theocracy); and Iran (a rightist theocracy) I agree the left (aka libs/dems/socialists, whichever code word for ‘enemy’ used by Trump, Putin, their oligarchs and followers) should definitely be more vocal about what’s going on as rightist powers vie for greater control of territories and resources belonging to sovereign states. 

It’s pretty clear the global right and their war industries aren’t going to object to war. 

Time for the 'left' and any other non-rightists to be more vocal in fighting global rightist powers.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wallace - many supporters of left-of-center ideals do not believe Obama was / is a "Leftist" - esp in the context that you and others are insinuating. And I believe the crickets are deafening, probably because no one cares.

And back on topic - Abe is no match for Putin in this debate or any others. Putin steeled by years in Soviet era intelligence / kgb and decades of post-communist development, is smart, tough and exacting at times to the point of being an autocrat, whereas Abe's spoon-fed, privileged, on-a-plate life experience sees him without the willies to contend.

No matter how much Abe plays his song over the northern territories for domestic ears, internationally (esp Russia) no one is listening.

Rightfully or wrongfully acquired doesn't enter the equation. Russia possesses the islands. That's it. And they're not going to be given up to appease Abe /Japan. I think it's all a bit sad for the ex-inhabitants, but that's the way it is.

Abe / Japan can develop the islands co-operatively with Russia as much as they want, but ownership will not return to Japan - esp the main larger ones.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Possession is 9 points out of 10. Russia will never cede territory willingly. Japan will never engage militarily with Russia to retake these islands. The matter is settled, like it or not. Move on.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

using Japanese hi-tech and engineering, and Russian gas. And then (perhaps after 10 years), the islands return permanently to Japan.

agreed Japan will never get those islands back just by sheer goodwill. they'll need to invest heavily in Russia, the more they invest the more difficult itll be for them to kowtow to the US whenever the US wants them to put sanctions on Russia. Putin knows this which is why he has Japan by the nads on this issue. The islands will never be returned by force so Japan doesn't really have any other options

2 ( +2 / -0 )

snorts

Dimitrii on the left there is looking put out and left out of the chums' huddle, as Ilya with the specs has nuzzled his way into the Inner Circle. Watch your back there Tovarisch Ilya.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why is it that everytime I call out both sides, lefties only see it as calling out one?

Okay, here. Enjoy.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2017/01/18/commentary/world-commentary/obama-war-peace/

B/C no one who is on the left feels like Obama was ever remotely on our side. That he governed like the centrist/neoliberal he is. But please continue to conflate everyone from Tony Blair to Jeremy Corbyn, from Hillary to Chomsky. You reveals an awful lot about you, not us.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japanese government spokesman in Tokyo said Japan wants the return of islands in the Pacific captured by Russian troops in the last days of the war before it signs a peace treaty.

Newslflash -not gonna happen...

However, our position that the Northern Territories issue is resolved before any peace treaty remains unchanged."

The NT issue is resolved . Japan lost the war, Russia won. Winners keepers, it has always been that way... Sooner the oyajis swallow their pride and accept Putin holds all the cards, the sooner things will get moving.

"Shinzo said let's change approaches. Okay," Putin said, before proposing they sign a peace treaty

Ouch, that one hurts....direct hit....exposes Shinzo,s call for "new approach" for what it is ..just another empty slogan.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

"Let's conclude a peace treaty before the end of this year, without any pre-conditions." Abe did not respond.

Of course we know this was well-measured strategy to take the wind out Abe's sails. But now it's also clear that Japan has no true interest in striking a peaceful balance in the region. Only an agenda to consolidate power. As I have always maintained since I learned Japan from the inside; the 'thing' that propelled Japan to start WWII is still alive and quietly at work.

Either way Putin's strategy was going to 'win' in this case. Japan started the war, Japan lost it (and the islands). But Japan wants to perpetually play the victim card but smart leaders, that know about Japan, know this. Putin did well to take that card from him in this case.

Welcome to the real world, Shinzo!

Japan is resource poor.

All the more reason to take social and environmental responsibilities while keeping good relations with neighbors. All of which Japan is failing at miserably now, as they have in the past.

The left has always had a penchant for wars.

Preposterous comment! This whole left/right pigeon-holing on every issue is ridiculous anyway and needs to stop.

But is you really feel compelled to go down that route; I could name a long list of wars started by the right. We all know that the right tends toward unquestioning patriotism that inevitably rewards nationalism. The right endorses reckless exploitation of all things (take slavery for one) and stifles diplomatic talks due to its agendas.

It's just a ridiculous thing to say.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

2 sly characters outfoxing each other. Not really, one of them is a racoon only to see the face. Can't you guess who?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yep, Putin has played and positioned itself perfectly and aligned themselves with China coming in from the South. By kicking the US out of Asia without firing a shot, hmmm where have I heard that strategy before...Meanwhile the US picks up where Obama left off and now Trump is full of hot air. and playing right to the one world government hands.at the expense of Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Everybody who thinks Abe will sign the peace treaty without settling Northern Islands dispute must be Pro-russian communists. Abe was firm on his side when he gave his speech. If you guys watch the whole conference, you can clearly feel Japan's stance on this one. Peace treaty will only happen if these islands will be returned back to Japan or maybe just half of it then invest after.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don't believe Russia will ever give up the islands they stole in the last days of WWII after Japan had already declared surrender, as long as US military assets remain in Japan. At least not all four islands. Personally I'd like to see a joint US/JSDF base in Hokkaido that stares at these islands 24/7 making Russia's moves to militarize them totally useless.

0 ( +16 / -16 )

A peace treaty with Russia without the return of the northern islands is totally unacceptable to most Japanese. There’s no need to rush. Take your time, Mr Abe.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Vic M

I used to think

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Btw..that guy on Putin ,s left looks like beefed up version of Snowden with a haircut.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

As I have always maintained since I learned Japan from the inside; the 'thing' that propelled Japan to start WWII is still alive and quietly at work.

Either way Putin's strategy was going to 'win' in this case.

Just want to correct myself there. I should have said "the 'thing' that propelled Japan to imperialism is still alive and quietly at work." The problems started long before the war.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Peace treaty ? or Peace constitution ?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

n August 1945 Joseph Stalin welcomed the unconditional surrender of Japan. Under the terms of the agreement the disputed southern Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands would pass into Soviet hands. The islands had been occupied by Japan since the Russo-Japanese war.

In 2010 President Medvedev 

You forgot to mention the 1956 Soviet–Japanese peace talks where the two sides agreed to split two islands for each but the US intervened and blocked the deal with the threat that Japan will not get Okinawa if it moved on this deal. So Russia and Japan can talk as much they want, without the US blessings there will be no deal ever.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Time for the 'left' and any other non-rightists to be more vocal in fighting global rightist powers.

AMEN!!!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Wow... Abe's going to likely sign a peace treaty with Russia and invest without Putin offering a thing in return but a promise to consider issues.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So Mr. Suga cannot move? At least there is a prime minister in office long enough to equal other countries. Is it the right one?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Russia, with a very small GDP, due to its amazingly corrupt government, has nothing Japan needs, except raw materials.

The islands occupied by Russia are of very little importance, except as a source of pride. Russia has them, Japan wants them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Raw itis, well pacific.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As we have seen, for the last 70 years Russia and Japan have different opinions on this. There are tremendous opportunities for Japan and Russia to work together in the Pacific. In order to do so a Peace Treaty needs to be sign before discussions begin about handing back territory. So recognize the differences in opinion but work together to respecting each other as people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There won't be any peace treaty unless Abe becomes another Trump - another pet lapdog for Putin.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is the U.S. that gave O.K. to Soviet's request for the acquisition of the four islands.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

I used to think that the islands should be returned, but the way things are going with the USA around the world I would say no. The islands are on Russia's door step and if returned to Japan, the USA would demand them for it's bases. No.No, No. Better to work together with Russia on a joint venture to develop the islands.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Putin bought a honey drink for Xi, while offer a peace treaty to Abe. Sweet and sour, double delicious Asian soup.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Putin aside for the moment - since when has Abe actually wanted peace? Everything the LDP does is a passive-aggressive hack toward changing Article 9.

Well, for them, a peace treaty with Russia means getting these islands back, so I think they genuinely want peace, for this particular nationalistic agenda of course. If Abe outright refuses this proposition, Putin will have exposed this fact, while putting himself as the reasonable one. Pretty smart, I think.

As for changing article 9, they certainly have enough of North Korea or China as an excuse !

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I have yet to read anyone, anti-Trumper or not, say they wanted war with Russia.

You are right.... They just want to demonize the country, put its nationals on trial, seize their foreign assets, block their trade, encourage anti-Russian Nazi forces and coups in neighboring states, interfere with Russian elections and generally threaten their borders.

But nobody wants war.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Give us back our Hoppo Ryodo.  Then we can talk peace treaty.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

But soon after Putin made the dramatic offer, a Japanese government spokesman in Tokyo said Japan wants the return of islands in the Pacific captured by Russian troops in the last days of the war before it signs a peace treaty.

Bye, Felicia!

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

"Let's conclude a peace treaty before the end of this year, without any pre-conditions." Abe did not respond.

Of course we know this was well-measured strategy to take the wind out Abe's sails. But now it's also clear that Japan has no true interest in striking a peaceful balance in the region. Only an agenda to consolidate power. As I have always maintained since I learned Japan from the inside; the 'thing' that propelled Japan to start WWII is still alive and quietly at work.

Brilliant analysis!!

Either way Putin's strategy was going to 'win' in this case. Japan started the war, Japan lost it (and the islands). But Japan wants to perpetually play the victim card but smart leaders, that know about Japan, know this. Putin did well to take that card from him in this case.

Exactly! The Japanese are constantly in a victim mindset and tried to play it, but as I have said before, Putin is hands down one of the most - if not the most- shrewd and dangerous politicians in the world

Welcome to the real world, Shinzo!

He pretty much showed Shinzo that he is not in his field. Crayon Shinchan is way above his head with this russian bear.

All the more reason to take social and environmental responsibilities while keeping good relations with neighbors. All of which Japan is failing at miserably now, as they have in the past.

So true

Preposterous comment! This whole left/right pigeon-holing on every issue is ridiculous anyway and needs to stop.

Agree

But is you really feel compelled to go down that route; I could name a long list of wars started by the right. We all know that the right tends toward unquestioning patriotism that inevitably rewards nationalism. The right endorses reckless exploitation of all things (take slavery for one) and stifles diplomatic talks due to its agendas.

absolutely!

It's just a ridiculous thing to say.

What else do you expect from the right X?

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Only time will tell.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Promising news at least from the Summit. I have always said joint development of northern territories is ideal solution. Factories, fishing and agriculture, roads, apartments and resorts would be good for both Japan and Russia, using Japanese hi-tech and engineering, and Russian gas. And then (perhaps after 10 years), the islands return permanently to Japan.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

You only called out the left:

Followed by

Funny how when it comes to holding up despots and wreaking other countries, both parties are in unison. 

Emphasis on BOTH

Democrats have always been willing to support the Republicans' wars

And vice-versa

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Put-in more money Abe san

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

No different to after WW2 the west would assume we would be third world, but rebuilt and became the 2nd world power, now third. So do not judge a book by its cover.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

B/C no one who is on the left feels like Obama was ever remotely on our side. That he governed like the centrist/neoliberal he is. But please continue to conflate everyone from Tony Blair to Jeremy Corbyn, from Hillary to Chomsky. You reveals an awful lot about you, not us.

Many on the left clearly don't support this notion. Otherwise there'd be loads more people vocal of the perpetrated war crimes. But as always, crickets

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

lol yet the last 2 Gulf wars and afghanistan wars were started by republicans

Why is it that everytime I call out both sides, lefties only see it as calling out one?

Okay, here. Enjoy.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2017/01/18/commentary/world-commentary/obama-war-peace/

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

It Belongs to Japan, The End.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Legally it belongs to us, they just stole the land from us in the past.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

It's deeply ironic how so many anti-Trump Americans want war with Russia, while pro-Trump Russians want peace.

And the left is silent. Funny how when it comes to holding up despots and wreaking other countries, both parties are in unison. Funny that.

-19 ( +1 / -20 )

It's deeply ironic how so many anti-Trump Americans want war with Russia, while pro-Trump Russians want peace.

The left has always had a penchant for wars. Simply look at its voting record. True colours shining through is all.

-21 ( +3 / -24 )

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