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Abe threatens Moscow with more sanctions over Crimea

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I thought for long Climea is a part of Russia. Russia gave away too much under Gorvachev.

-11 ( +6 / -15 )

Gorbachev was not behind the 1954 transfer of Crimea to Ukraine. What other territories do you reckon Putin should go for?

8 ( +12 / -5 )

Abe can sanction Russia all that he wants, but it will not work at all because Russia does not care at all. With majority of the people in Crimea wanting to be returned back to Russia, there is not much anyone can do to stop the process in any way or form.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

So, strong Abe wants to impose unilateral sanctions on the partner that he was until yesterday pandering to? Wasn't he trying to build relations in order to secure the gas deals and to off-set the influence of China? Diplomatically not very smart. If he was smart he could have used his influence if he had any, to be a mediator between the west and Russia. Now he's bending over backwards to show that he's a strong leader and just showed Putin that Japan can't be trusted. Good going boss.

18 ( +26 / -8 )

I agree dbsaiya, thumbs up.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

I could not agree more with dbsaiya, I'm so tired of Japan on the world stage adopting an adaptation American Foreign policy rather than acting as a strong independent nation.

4 ( +15 / -11 )

influence of China? Diplomatically not very smart. If he was smart he could have used his influence if he had any, to be a mediator between the west and Russia.

I agree - this is a bone head move. This whole series of episodes has been one fiasco after another. Russia / Putin should never have been so heavy handed, as it was clear Crimea wanted to go back to Russia anyway (which it had always been a part of for the last several centuries before Khrushchev had his own brain fart with the phony 'gift' of Crimea to Ukraine); and so a 'real' referendum would have worked fine for them; and all this talk from the US, EU (and apparently now JP) about the so called illegality of the referendum is borderline ridiculous; and the whole idea that Crimea is (or ever was) somehow integral to Ukraine is history reinvented; and ... I'm sure there are more.

Talk about a totally manufactured crisis that could easily still blow up in everyone's face. Unacceptable behavior all around.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

TorafusuTorasan Gorbachev was not behind the 1954 transfer of Crimea to Ukraine. What other territories do you reckon Putin should go for?

I am sorry I thought for long Uklaine also is a part of Russia. So it did not surprise me and my feeling does not change that Russia gave too much under Gorvachev.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Look I'm all in favour of Crimeans deciding to join Russia if they want to, but as for Japan, what was Abe supposed to do? Choose between Russia or the rest of the G8? He has no choice but to go with the evil western nations, that is more in Japan's interests than the sum of what Russia can offer.

Sad to say it, but this is the state of the world.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday signed a treaty claiming the Black Sea region as Russian territory after more than 97% of Crimeans voted in favor of Kremlin rule in a disputed referendum.

It's disputed because it is assumed that the choices on the ballot were to vote for Kremlin rule or to talk with one of the armed Russian soldiers camped at the border. Now the question is whether Russia will just keep taking over Ukrainian regions, before or after a similar vote, or whether it would like to negotiate things with Ukraine. In the absence of world resistance, I would think the first choice is more likely.

“Japan cannot overlook an attempt to change the status quo by force.”

It's unclear what threat Japan poses to Russia. Russia has what Japan wants - energy - not the other way around. I suppose Japan is cozying up to the US in return for some promise of energy aid or something.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What a joke. Little, weak, hiding under the USA's skirt japan threatening Russia! I'm sure the Russians roared with laughter when they heard about this.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Russia till this day just cannot comprehend their own stupidness through their cheap sale of Alaska to the US. Maybe they want that back? Let's ask the Eskimos and the polar bears if they prefer to change flags.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

The Crimea was given to Ukraine as a gift and an expression of "brotherly love" between Russia and Ukraine. This was during the Khrushchev era. Looks like Russians are "Indian givers". It also not right to blame Gorbachev for the problems of the Soviet Union, it was a long time coming. When Russian couldn't even match bathroom items; ie, green sink, white toilet, pink tub; don't see how a country could stand. The stores were empty or the people couldn't afford it if they had items. It was in a very sad economic state. The major mistake that the Soviet Union made was that if went after military domination instead of economic growth. As spending kept increasing on the military, less and less there was available for the population. You can't keep going like that. It's like N. Korea, the people can't even feed themselves. Abe seems to want to go down this road, we will see. Putin still hasn't gone down this road, it more of maintaining what is left. The US is still spending huge amounts on the military with questionable results. But now, just when military spending may be waning, Now the US has a good excuse for a build up that can cause serious problems for the global economy.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

this is all part if a plan. russia is going to start ww3. japan Russia and other countries are puppets in this world. new world government please research don't trust any gov

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Never heard of Crimea before this went on/nor cared about it. Pretty sure Abe has a lot more to worry about within Japan than messing with a small area in a place he has probably never been to.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

People have to be really delusional to believe the referendum to join Russia was a true and accurate representation of the will of Crimean residents.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Mr. Abe has been forced into a corner and did what he had to do. If he does not back international law and more importantly, if the international community does not force Russia to reverse course, (now nearly impossible as Russia has incorporated Crimea into it's federation), what will Japan do if China swipes the Senkaku islands? Japan has been pressuring Russia for decades for the return of the 4 Kuril Islands that were taken at the end of WWII but Japan has made little progress.

If Japan does not back the international community in it's condemnation of Russia (Putin), how can Japan hope to get their backing when China plants it's flag on Japanese controlled territory? If I were Abe I would hope for a victory for international law and just give up the idea of negotiating with Putin. Do you really think Putin, of all people, will return the Kuril island to Japan?

Maybe Abe plans to take back the 4 Kuril islands just as Putin took Crimea back! Maybe he should support Putin and stand side by side with him, and when Putin has his back turned, pull a Hitler on Stalin move and roll in.

By the way, it was Nikita Khrushchev who transferred "Crimean Oblast" to Ukraine in 1954, not Gorbachev.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Silly move by Abe as always. What is his goal? Does he have any plans? He is driving himself into a corner. He should have stayed neutral.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Just another case of Japan being blindsided by international events. The most recent case before this was probably the US invading Kuwait to kick out Saddam. So this time last month Abe was acting as proxy for Western interests when he visited Sochi for the winter Olympics. I don't know what happened between him and Putin at the time, but Putin's Crimean ambitions have effectively turned Japanese foreign policy on its head. Japan really wants to engage Russia as a foil for Chinese ambition in the region. At the same time, however, Japan doesn't want to get involved in the machinations between Russia, Europe and ultimately the US.

Whatever happens, as with the West Japan has been seriously wrong-footed by Putin on this occasion. Let's hope that the next time a Japanese PM tries to engage Russia, he doesn't do it while having his head firmly wedged up his nether regions.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Most of of the previous posters missed the point of sanctions by Japan. Alone Japan's sanctions mean nothing, but together with the other 193 UN countries it will have an effect. The UN needs to stand together and take action or it means nothing. I think the economic sanctions are better than military action.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

---ROAARRRR !!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What kind of sanction USA and EU can do effectively? Yesterday news, USA found 7 Russians; bank accouts. Didn't say how many dollars. Np news yet. Trade sanction? Abe must be aware that Japan can declare sanction more than EU and USA added, Keeping mouth shut is better for Japan, I think.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Don't forget that ethnic Russians are not indigenous to Crimea. Russians are latecomers in many parts of the former Russian Empire. The British Empire has been relatively easy to disintegrate, because most of its fomer colonies are overseas. The disintegration of the Russian Empire is much more difficult, because its colonies are in what Russia calls "Near Abroad."

0 ( +2 / -2 )

With Abe dancing on one foot, then the other, I'm not so sure there'll never be any "military action". (Don't forget, he's building up the military over here right now). As for the 97%, surely they have the right to choose ?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Dennis 711 is the first person to get to the heart of the matter.

Militarily, the US is the only nation which could stop Putin's Russia, but even a small misstep could result in global destruction, with Russia obliterated, and the US mortally wounded, and the radioactive fallout would poison the entire globe.

But, if the entire industrial world stand together, and economically devastate the shaky Russian economy, even the mad Putin will pause before trying to take back the rest of Ukraine, or Poland, or Estonia, or Latvia, or Lithuania.

In the meantime, the US should continue to move fighter aircraft, and AWACS and air refueling planes into former Soviet Bloc nations with which it now has a NATO relationship. Strangely, the mad Putin, who detests FSU nations joining NATO, May have given such nations not now part of NATO strong reasons to try accelerating the path toward NATO membership.

Therefore, that which Putin feared most, may now happen more quickly because of his actions in Crimea, and fears of what might be next for FSU nations.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

"Threatening to do" seems to be the buzz words for every politician when it comes to Russia or China or North Korea.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

You know you are not going to get 193 countries to put sanctions of Russia. Included in that number are Russia, China, N. Korea, Cuba, and Iran. As for Abe being caught by international events, I would say it's more like Japan being back stabbed by Russia as usual. The reason the Soviets took N. Korea and Japan's northern islands was because the Soviets kept attacking for days even after the surrender. It is also a failure of Japanese military intelligence that Japan kept asking for the Soviets to broker a surrender while Stalin was increasing his troops on the boarder. If Japan had surrendered after Hiroshima, Korea would be whole and the northern islands would still have been Japans. But during that era, Japan had really bad timing.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Even US and EU doesn't impose any serious sanctions to Russia, because it could affect to their economy. French government thinking about not to sell warships to Russia, which cost 1,2 bln$. But even in this case they are not sure, just thinking. And here we're! Abe, which tried to establish relationship with Putin since last year, thinking about more another sanctions. Stupid move.

It seems like better to be silent like South Korean government. Yeah, maybe it's more harder to be neutral for Japan, which participate in G7. Even Angela Merkel didin't say anything, so maybe better to remain silent until he weet with another G7 leaders?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I smell gas: natural, which Japan needs, and thus also, hot air.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

It's so easy to sit back and criticize Abe when you have absolutely no idea what it's like to be a Prime Minister. He's made the right call. Russia's going too far in this issue, raising tensions to a Cold War era level. Putin's been declaring his intention to bring glory back to Russia, which is the Soviet's way of saying "We're going to flex our muscles, intimidate the West and bring the world back to the brink of nuclear war for the sake of our pride." 97% of Crimeans voted to join Russia? That would not only include all of the native Russians in Crimea, but all of the native Crimeans and many of the native Ukrainians. Are you seriously trying to suggest that native Ukrainians wanted to secede from Ukraine? That doesn't make sense, and neither does this election result. Clearly there's a fix somewhere, but no-one seems to be looking into that.

For now, all we can do is impose sanctions on Russia. Any escalation on that would most likely lead to war. As it is, we're already on the brink, what with a Ukrainian sodier having been shot dead, and (supposedly) a Russian soldier as well in the same shootout. Imposing sanctions is as aggressive as we can get without escalating tensions unnecessarily.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Japan can not keep the atomic plants offline and condemn Russia at the same time. The world has to understand Japan has problems and is not a "world" policeman. I wrote awhile back about the danger of Japan investing in Russia. Japan becoming dependent on Russian gas/oil. So Abe will you look after Japan's best interests or be an apple polisher for America?

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Japan feels is hard because their own losses.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@ka_chan

The reason the Soviets took N. Korea and Japan's northern islands was because the Soviets kept attacking for days even after the surrender.

I see, the Soviets were cowards indeed, and History is a very tough subject to study. Now some facts (from Wiki):

"The surrender of the Empire of Japan on September 2, 1945"

Invasion of the Kuril Islands: "The operation took place between August 18 and September 1, 1945..."

It is also a failure of Japanese military intelligence that Japan kept asking for the Soviets to broker a surrender while Stalin was increasing his troops on the boarder.

It must be a very big "failure" - for more than 6 months (since February, 1945):

Yalta Conference (February 4-11, 1945): "Stalin agreed to enter the fight against the Empire of Japan within 90 days after the defeat of Germany..."

0 ( +2 / -2 )

all of the native Crimeans and many of the native Ukrainians. Are you seriously trying to suggest that native Ukrainians wanted to secede from Ukraine?

In Russia about 2 million of ukrainians, in fact more than 2 millions, because a lot of ukrainians mostly associate themselves with russians. Native people of Crimea is qirimlar, which are turkic and muslim. Second biggest nationality in Russia is tatar people, which also turkic and muslim - 5 million people. So what do you think - better live in rich multinational and multiconfessional country or in poor country with nationalistic leaders(search Svoboda party and Tyahnybok). At first day Pution introduced 3 official languages in Crimea, at first day after overthrow of Yanukovich new leaders cancelled law, which guaranteed official status of Russian and Qirim dil in Crimea. So what do you think, in which country better to live?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Good on Abe, it must be difficult for him to reverse his position on Russia, but it's for the greater good. Appeasement of someone with mental disabilities like Putin cannot be appeased.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Putin must be shivering in his boots over Abe's "threats."

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I wonder to every one of the people in here that are hard critics to what Abe has done in this matter...

What will you be saying if he (Japan) decided to not to sanction but to support Russia's actions? Probably you guys will be bashing as hard as you can for that too...

Your "superior" moral/intellectual/ethical ground is astonishing....

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Well, if I was the leader of Russia, and knew that the US spent $5 billion on "democratizing" Ukraine in the last few years, then supported a coup, then held an illegal vote putting a pro-EU/western puppet in power in Kiev, and some of those supporters are Neo-NAZI's, I would definitely reinforce my Crimea bases and have a little coup of my own securing my Black Sea port and access to the Mediterranean. Simple logic, if you think like a leader of a nation surrounded by NATO that made broken promises that they would never expand.

It's all a game, and Abe was feeling left out.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Abe waits for reaction to his sternly worded email too

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The American puppet master has just moved his small last finger and the puppet awakes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Putin must be shivering in his boots over Abe's "threats

He may not have seen this coming since his "willingness" to talk about the 'northern territories' [which he has zero intention to return]. He will be annoyed.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Abe should concentrate on his dying countries issues with Fukushima. He needs Russian help to try and stabilise the ongoing catastrophe, and having judged his past performance's he needs all the assistance he can muster! Shut all the nukes down!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

too funny, what they going to do, block used cars export to Russia?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

That was a bit of a harsh move because friendly Putin sent his greetings yesterday to participants in the sixth Russia-Japan Investment Forum, which is taking place in Tokyo.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So much dumb in this thread. Japan is a G7 nation, so of course it is going to go along with the rest of the G7 on this. Last thing Abe wants to do, with the rising military power of China and border disputes with all its neighbors, is to allow Putin's land grab to go uncontested. Territorial integrity has been the cornerstone of the post-war world order, in which a reconstructed Japan occupies a rather elite position; I would imagine Japan is most eager to make sure that Russia's Crimean adventure does not set a new international precedent.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"Gorbachev was not behind the 1954 transfer of Crimea to Ukraine. What other territories do you reckon Putin should go for?"

Heck, the Russians were duped into paying only $6 million for Alaska, they should get that back, lol.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@LH10, you are one of the few people awake and your post says a lot that most people will not be able to understand. I call it the invisible government. The signs are out there but people do not even see them.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well, you're the one that used the word "land grab". Did you miss the American funded coup in Kiev? oops! You don't need tanks to make a land grab when people can be bought. Iraq/Afghanistan, tanks needed for a land grab.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well, you're the one that used the word "land grab". Did you miss the American funded coup in Kiev? oops! You don't need tanks to make a land grab when people can be bought. Iraq/Afghanistan, tanks needed for a land grab.

I don't think you understand what the term "land grab" means.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I don't think you understand geopolitics

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Abe is playing his cards right! If he didn't make a difference even if he had not sided with the US, Russia still would not return those Islands to Japan he wants to keep Japan and its allies as far as possible from Russia strategic reasons. This is just a test of more to come and a message to Japan and China and all of Europe!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Crimea was part of Russia until 1954 after the leaders got drunk in a meeting and decided to give Crimea to Ukraine. It was fine at that time because they belong to the same Soviet Union. Speaking of returning to Russia. I read that some other smaller nations also wants to become part of Russia for obvious economic reason. Economic sanction is pretty much useless against Russia. After all, it has surplus and unlike US....which only has growing debts. Military action? Forget it. unlike Iraq/Iran, etc. Russia has missiles and will not hesitate to push the buttons if under attack.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

presto345 He may not have seen this coming since his "willingness" to talk about the 'northern territories' [which he has zero intention to return]. He will be annoyed.

Do you really think that Putin had ANY intention of returning the Northern Territories?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

PM Abe need to take strong stand with Russia. We all know that the Northern Territories will not ever be returned to Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't think you understand geopolitics

Then explain it to me, because I don't see why Japan would be particularly concerned about military action to affect regime change in assorted rogue nations (eg. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc...), while it seems to me Japan would be extremely concerned about allowing a powerful neighbor forcibly seizing territory based in part on historic claims of ownership without any sort of repercussions. What am I missing, exactly?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Putin just announced huge infrastructure projects spending in Crimea and signed a decree to bring the pensions of Crimean citizens in line with the Russian ones effectively doubling overnight the pensions they had under the Ukranian control. If you are an ethnic Russian in a poor region like the overwhelming majority of population in Crimea is and Moscow offers to double your pensions and markedly improve your living standards with a stroke of a pen, which way would you vote?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Putin just announced huge infrastructure projects spending in Crimea and signed a decree to bring the pensions of Crimean citizens in line with the Russian ones effectively doubling overnight the pensions they had under the Ukranian control"

Putin - the Russian Santa Claus!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YuriOtani Mar. 20, 2014 - 12:02PM JST

Japan becoming dependent on Russian gas/oil. So Abe will you look after Japan's best interests or be an apple polisher for America?

Well Said Yuri! If there is no more wheat from Russia, there will be no more noddles and breads can be made cheaply in Japan. Of course, Japan can import wheat from other nations. Russia is the door step of Japan. Importing from Russia is cheaper than others.

If Russia want to punish Abe, they will increase the price of Gas, Oil and Wheat. If Abe does not want to pay more, he has to make other Fukushima nuclear power plants. US is the burden of Japan foreign relation for energy and food security.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Poor Abe. One moment he wanted to get closer to Russia, but now he's sanctioning Russia over US pressure.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Thomas@ LOL I was just going to say the same thing. you beat me to it. : D

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"suspending negotiations with Russia on easing visa requirements and would not be starting talks on a new investment accord." "additional action would include restricting visas and freezing assets.

What bold moves! If that won't get Crimea back to Ukraine, nothing will. What happened to the Abe who met Putin five times, who established a relationship based on trust? Why doesn't he call his mate and set the bloke straight?

What's this YuriOtani? "So Abe will you look after Japan's best interests or be an apple polisher for America?" But Abe wants to be a man with an army and patriotic citizens. Remember his proactive pacifism? He wants to be in charge of a nation that has a meaningful voice in the world, not just someone who decides which bully to kiss up to. What you're suggesting is that Abe choose to kiss Putin's hind quarters rather than Obama's. If that's what he wants to do, fine by me. But if Abe does so, rather than get a few insignificant islands returned (which Abe claims were taken in a similar manner to Crimea. Who does Abe fancy to populate those islands with, I wonder?), he will be lucky if he gets to keep Hokkaido.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

he will be lucky if he gets to keep Hokkaido

Very funny!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

With all this discontent from around soon Russia will be isolated like North.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Finally.... Japan has grown a pair. Many of you see this as Japan caving in to Western demands but I disagree. The climate, since the rise of China, in Asia has changed. China is showing strong interest Diplomatically and Militarily around the world. Japan can ill afford to sit by and not make its voice heard too. Japan is clearly defining its foreign policy. The days of Japan playing two sides or not taking a stand at all are over. If you rationally thing about what is currently going on in the world then Abe's actions make a lot of sense. I think a new Japan is emerging from its slumber and is ready to take a real seat at the table.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Schopenhauer Gorbachev didn't give away Crimea it was Khrushchev who himself was Ukrainian and married to Ukrainian and who was preparing for some kind if under the table deal with the western colonial powers. That is why he was replaced in a cup. Gorbachev in a conspiracy with Yeltsin and USA facilitated downfall of Soviet Union and agreed to leave all the borders as is despite the fact that Ukrainian hold on Crimea was illegal, illogical and oppressive to its majority. They were never given the ownership rights over it but rather administrative obligation, that is how soviet laws stood. Americans and Japan have no rights to talk about brutal force, without going back to the WWII, I am not Korean or Chines to cling to this rotten old bone, just over the last decade Americans and their allays with a friendly approval from Japan have been applying murderous amounts of brutal force all over the world. Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Iraq, Libya Syria and finally now Ukraine are all suffering due to the terrorism and wars forced upon them by the evil empires led by USA. As many as 90 percent of so called civilian murders were committed by Western implanted or supported terrorist and mercenarys but always blamed on the democratic or majority supported government they fought. Japan should have a referendum to decide if they want to brown nose evil bunch or follow the line of neutrality and non interference.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

ZvonkoMar. 27, 2014 - 08:11AM JST USA facilitated downfall of Soviet Union and agreed to leave all the borders as is despite the fact that Ukrainian hold on Crimea was illegal, illogical and oppressive to its majority. They were never given the ownership rights over it but rather administrative obligation, that is how soviet laws stood.

Moscow and Kiev signed the bilateral Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation in 1997. Under Article 2, the neighbors agreed to "respect each other's territorial integrity, and confirm the inviolability of the borders existing between them." The Friendship Treaty also ensures "the protection of the ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious originality of national minorities on their territory" and the creation of "conditions for the encouragement of that originality." Although not stated explicitly, this passage refers to the large Russian minority in Ukraine as well as Ukrainian communities in Russia.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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