politics

Japan, Russia to boost economic, security ties

35 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

35 Comments
Login to comment

The issue of the northern territories will keep coming up. The ideal Japan should sign a peace treaty and get NOTHING is unacceptable. Worse is investing in what Russia stole from Japan. Really all talks should stop until the northern territories are returned.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Right on.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What a surprising self descriptions of the meeting as 'Fruitful' ? Hope Mr. Gemba can be more innovative -- not every meeting must come up with 'fruitful' results to report to his bosses !

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

YuriOtani: "Really all talks should stop until the northern territories are returned."

Why would Russia give away Russian territory to appease the whiners in this nation? Japan lost these islands quite some time ago, and have zero right to them. They know it, and hence Gemba tried to downplay the issue and focus on talks that are actually useful and could further relations instead of straining them over a non-issue.

You're right that the issue won't go away, though... as soon as Gemba and/or Azuma do something stupid again like promising the US they will cut dependence on Iranian oil and then backtrack within 24 hours we'll hear about how Gemba plans to look at the islands through binoculars from a helicopter far away (to take the focus off his own stupidity).

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

As things heta up in the Middle East, Japan and Russia have the opportunity to soften the blow, as they can engage in trade adn energy projects that will benefit both countries. It's also good they will implement security ties, to reassure each other, especially Japan as China and the US will spar for inluence over East Asia, and little Japan will become less and less important in years to come. It's good to have such economic and energy ties with an Russia as an Asian neighbor too, and not only have ties with a fading superpower in North America. Gringos go home!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

smithinjapan, why should Japan give away the northern territories to appease the Russian thugs? There are still residents from there still alive and giving up legitimize Russian aggression. What will the Russians ask for next? I do not trust them, any agreement with them is worthless.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

smith: "Japan lost these islands some time ago and have zero right to them"

The sneaky, honorless Russians swooped in at the end of the war and seized the islands which had Japanese people living on them for generations and are far closer to the Japanese mainland than the Russian mainland, but, hey, according to smith, the Japanese have no right to them, lol.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The sneaky, honorless Russians swooped in at the end of the war and seized the islands which had Japanese people living on them for generations

There are still residents from there still alive and giving up legitimize Russian aggression.

@Serrano @YuriOtani

And the Kanto-gun was honorable and just as it swept through Manchuria and China? The Korean Peninsula, Taiwan, Karafuto and the Kurils were all unquestionably Japanese BEFORE the Pacific war. Blame the Taisei Tokusankai NOT Russia for what happened before, during and after WWII.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

andrewfx51, put blame where blame is due the Russians. They shot down an airliner over these islands. The perp was never punished, if Russia has any decency they would return these islands. Letting Russia keep these islands is rewarding them for naked aggression.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

put blame where blame is due the Russians. They shot down an airliner over these islands. The perp was never punished, if Russia has any decency they would return these islands

Actions of an individual madman (I'm not aware of this incident, but assume the perpetrator is not mentally sound) do not reflect government policy. Japan lost the war; Russia took advantage of this situation to enter the war and claim spoils. That is their reward - and Japan's punishment.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

andrewfx51, so if Japan fights Russia and wins.... It would be a "just" war from our perspective. Then Japan can claim all of the land it can capture, perhaps with Chinese help. We get the islands, they get the mainland.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YuriOtani, I think that, yes, you are right. That is what Japan would do, already did, and will do if the situation will allow it. And Japan will not look at international law or good intentions or peaceful behaviour or anything. The phrase: "A war overwrites all treaties" is not made by Russians, but by Japanese (and towards the Russians, if I am not mistaken).

And from the point of view of morals and such, you have absolutely no right to claim those islands after putting your signature under the Kosovo state independence, where you supported just the opposite regardless ALL cultural, historical, religious and other things.

I think, Minister Sergey Lavrov and Minister Koichiro Gemba seem to understand many things. That is why the Island issue is copy-pasted to every newspaper article, but does not exist during meetings. Why would that be?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Russia does not need Japan. Russia seems to have already begun a search for other energy partners. Russia agreed to sell oil from the Sakhalin energy project to China instead of to Japan as originally planned. Russia has also continued to sell military equipment to China. Russia, China, and India agreed on trilateral trade. Taken together, these events suggest that Russia may move closer to China at the expense of its relationship with Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

sfip330, Japan does not need Russia. Becoming dependent on Russian oil is dangerous, just ask the Ukraine. As for morals... Ask the German 6th army about the high morals of the Russians. More than 100k are captures, less than 4k made it back to Germany. How about the ethic cleansing of our northern territories another war crime. How about the killing of tens or perhaps 100's of thousands of Japanese POW's. I do think Minister Gemba will be forced to resign if he tries to do a peace treaty without returning our our northern territories. Russia does not have the high moral position. Again becoming dependent on Russia for energy is a sin that will generate its own punishment.

Oh Russia should be careful of the Peoples Republic of China. The Siberia resources must look very nice to them and I am sure it belonged to China first.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YuriOtaniJan. 31, 2012 - 05:40AM JST. As for morals... Ask the German 6th army about the high morals of the Russians. More than 100k are captures, less than 4k made it back to Germany.. How about the ethic cleansing of our northern territories another war crime. How about the killing of tens or perhaps 100's of thousands of Japanese POW's.

Sure, by 1947, Russians evicted 17,000 Japanese people that were living in Kurile island. Talk about high morals? By 1945, nearly 13 million Chinese women, children and men who were too old or unable to fight the Japanese were exterminated. The events of WWII forged the way in which China evolved today. Never again would they allow such a high casualty rate to occur by a foreign aggressor. The Japanese invaded most of Southeast Asia and they did it really fast. they set up camps in those countries, and most were brutalized and treated very badly. Japanese propaganda was very successful. they made it seem like they were liberating Southeast Asia from the colonizers, Europe and the U.S., so at first they thought of japanese soldiers as liberators.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

so if Japan fights Russia and wins.... It would be a "just" war from our perspective.

Yes - but the rest of the world would decry your actions. Japan would lose a lot of the soft power it had built up post WWII. War should not be bandied about as a possible means to reclaiming the islands.

Then Japan can claim all of the land it can capture, perhaps with Chinese help.

This is really off topic. I was agreeing with @smithinjapan - No, Japan doesn't have a legitimate claim to the islands; any claim by politicians to the contrary is merely for votes, and economic concerns trump national pride, which is what happened. I don't think China will ally itself with Japan under any circumstances this millenium.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

andrewfx51, perhaps but Japan will not sign the peace treaty. My guess is trade will also be limited. Russia has nothing to offer Japan. More telling is any agreement with them is worthless. About China and Japan teaming up, not likely but we have more in common with each other than China and Russia. China does need those Russian resources. 1.3 billion strong and growing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YuriOtaniJan. 31, 2012 - 07:37AM JST. Russia has nothing to offer Japan.

It's the other way around, Japan has nothing to offer to Russia. Now, Russia can get all the technical help from the Chinese. Japan and Russia have never signed a peace treaty formally ending their brief hostilities in the waning days of World War II. That has not stopped the two countries acting the way normal, friendly countries act. It has not stopped Russia and Japan to inaugurate a natural gas deal. Since the end of the Soviet Union in early 90's, Russia eagerly anticipated substantial Japanese investment in the country, especially in Siberia and the Russian Far East. When that did not materialize, the two countries tended to lose interest in each other and that trend continued as revenues from oil and natural gas made Russia wealthier in the 2000s. Under Putin the Russians began to develop and exploit their own natural resources more effectively and didn’t need Japan any more.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sfip330, relations have been getting poorer. Until Putin the Russians stole the investment of the Japanese companies in their gas fields. Why would any sane Japanese company invest more money only to have it stolen? Again Putin stole Japans investments and then acted surprised more did not come.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YuriOtani

if Russia has any decency they would return these islands. Letting Russia keep these islands is rewarding them for naked aggression.

Why would Russia return islands that it legitimately seized as a result of Japanese aggression. You say its a result of Russian aggression, let me ask you this. Who started the war in the Pacific? Japan. Who as a member of the allies was requested by the US to declare war on Japan? Russia. So your nation started the war, your nation was an instigator of aggression against countless nations and you are upset that you lost your territory as a result. Personally you should be thankful you only lost a couple of insignificant islands.

Oh and the clincher in this whole argument l will quote you directly here " yea but we control them" you said this in respect to the other island dispute you have. So your logic is whoever controls them owns them. Guess what Russia controls them so using your own logic! Game over.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Cletus, China never controlled those islands. There are still Japanese alive who lived in the northern territories. So Russia controls these islands, at least for now. There will NEVER be a peace until Russia returns these islands. Any Japanese investment in Russia will be stolen, just like it has happened before. Btw, Japan lost a lot more than these islands.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YuriOtani

China never controlled those islands

Well that's the Japanese version now isn't it. You realize that there are two sides to every story.

There are still Japanese alive who lived in the northern territories. So Russia controls these islands, at least for now. There will NEVER be a peace until Russia returns these islands. Any Japanese investment in Russia will be stolen, just like it has happened before

Yes russia controls the islands. ANd as you said whoever controls them owns them your words there YuriOtani.

Btw, Japan lost a lot more than these islands.

Yeah you really believe that! I think Japan lost very little compared to those it invaded.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sfjp330Jan. 31, 2012 - 06:18AM JST Sure, by 1947, Russians evicted 17,000 Japanese people that were living in Kurile island. Talk about high morals? By 1945, nearly 13 million Chinese women, children and men who were too old or unable to fight the Japanese were exterminated. The events of WWII forged the way in which China evolved today. Never again would they allow such a high casualty rate to occur by a foreign aggressor. The Japanese invaded most of Southeast Asia and they did it really fast. they set up camps in those countries, and most were brutalized and treated very badly. Japanese propaganda was very successful. they made it seem like they were liberating Southeast Asia from the colonizers, Europe and the U.S., so at first they thought of japanese soldiers as liberators.

You are absolutely right sfjp330. In addition, Russians lost 20 000 000 in that war. At the end of the WWII, Russian army was an army, where every single man had a daughter, mother, wife or sister raped, killed or both. It was an army of enraged men. And at the end of the war, the reputation of Japanese was no better than the reputation of Nazis or any other such. That is about YuriOtani calling Russians as "thugs". I like Japan and Japanese, so I really don't want to go there in more details.

YuriOtani, if there will be no peace with Russia, it is really a Japanese problem, as far as I see it. It is really a Sword of Damocles over each Japanese government. You realize, that all those territorial statements and actions are items of propaganda fed to Japanese people, while every J-government struggles to overcome the negative effects of those. Russians clearly said, that there will be no islands. Period. And they don't care about the peace treaty, because Japan "unconditionally surrendered". Is that right or not? Or it didn't surrender? Or not unconditionally? Why do you need a peace treaty then, for which purpose? Again, the peace treaty is a piece of propaganda or a gesture to public. Does Russia have a peace treaty with Germany? Two nations may sign a peace treaty post war as a sign of friendship. Japan positions itself as an enemy of Russia. What kind of peace treaty are you talking about? Seriously.

Japan has a history of being tremendously terrible at choosing right allies and creating enemies out of nothing as I see it. And when someone clever, like Minister Koichiro Gemba comes to power, you are ready to bury him under the territorial problem. It is kind of sad.

As far as "who needs whom" is concerned, I really don't know if Japan has anything technology-wise, which others do not have for sale. On the contrary, Russia has something that the others do not have, especially when Japan will have to stop trading with anyone by the US request. It really looks like a Japanese initiative, all those business meetings with Russians, and not vice versa.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Konsta, clearly you are a Russian. Japan settled its problems with Russia and signed a non aggression pact. Japan did not kill all of those Russians though they killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese. What people forget is all of the Japanese civilians in Manchuria, Korea and China.

You got it backwards, I see the Russian government as the enemy. The Great Russian people are slaves to their demands and whims.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, I believe Japan began to fight mainly to stave off the Soviets invasion of the Far East. As for Manchukuo, they had already grabbed Primorsky Kray from China and tried to expand it hadn't they. Shouldn't the pot call the kettle black.....or red?

I think Mr. Lavrov is sending a sign that they are willing to provide Japan with oil and LNG when the U.S. screws up Japan about oil embargo from Iran.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seiharinokaze, the problem with Russian oil/gas is its lack of dependability. Putin will use it as a weapon against Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

YuriOtani, sure, you are right, and sometimes I am clearly more Russian than some other times, especially when I start thinking about my roots. Politically and economically, I know Russian context very well, I think. My posts are mostly about Japan, though, like improving geopolitical status (of Japan!), relationships (friendly!!), business (increasing!!!) and such. ;)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Konsta, I do not think ANYTHING will improve Japans image. Japan proves to be popular sport all across the world. I think the worse insult is Russia is trying to invest money to develop resources that were stolen from Japan. Second a peace treaty with Russia is not worth the paper it is printed upon. Look at the past agreements with Russia, have they kept any of them? What about the LNG plant in which Russia stole Japans share paying them back a small amount of their investment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Konsta Jan. 31, 2012 - 03:05PM JST. if there will be no peace with Russia, it is really a Japanese problem, as far as I see it. It is really a Sword of Damocles over each Japanese government. You realize, that all those territorial statements and actions are items of propaganda fed to Japanese people, while every J-government struggles to overcome the negative effects of those. Russians clearly said, that there will be no islands. Period. And they don't care about the peace treaty, because Japan "unconditionally surrendered". Is that right or not? Or it didn't surrender? Or not unconditionally?

FM Gemba described the territorial dispute between Russia and Japan as an issue of various agreements and documents in the past and principles of law and justice at a recent meeting (11/11) with his Russian counterpart. The law refers to the 1956 Japan-Russia Joint Declaration. PUTIN ADMITS the declaration, which proposed to return two of the disputed islands to Japan, IS VALID. Therefore the two sides share a common ground.

Russia's problem is that reforms aren't implemented when the country has money and when reforms are needed, the nation lacks funds. Russia's stability throughout the last decade, during which the country's democratization process was postponed, has been supported by surges in energy resource prices. But it's uncertain how long this will continue. Inevitably, economic sectors such as high technology and information technology will need to be diversified and modernized. Putin is focusing on the potential of Japan, which has reduced dependency on nuclear power since the 3/11 Earthquake. Putin is discussing energy cooperation with Japan in sectors such as natural gas. He may be able to build better Japan-Russia relations. Russia sees Japan as a long-term importer of its natural gas.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sflip330, no Japan is not afraid of Russia. We can hold our own against their military and the Americans would help in any event. The Russians would not gain anything by attacking Japan. Anyhow Russia has more to gain than Japan and they are not offering to return the 2 islands or allow the former residents to return to the other 2 islands. Putin will not make a deal because he needs to be the "tough" guy to win the next election. He is going to strain relations with Japan for his own internal politics. Really these talks need to stop, since they are so counterproductive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sfjp330Feb. 01, 2012 - 06:11AM JST FM Gemba described the territorial dispute between Russia and Japan as an issue of various agreements and documents in the past and principles of law and justice at a recent meeting (11/11) with his Russian counterpart. The law refers to the 1956 Japan-Russia Joint Declaration. PUTIN ADMITS the declaration, which proposed to return two of the disputed islands to Japan, IS VALID. Therefore the two sides share a common ground.

I hope so. But in all honesty, I don't think that it is that easy. Putin, for now, is kind of "inclined agreeing to admit" that the return of the two islands is possible. The joint declaration of 1956 was revoked after the military agreement between the US and Japan. Juridically, that agreement is not valid, but Puting is willing to put it back on the table, if it would move things forward. Unfortunately, there is no interest from the Japanese side, so it looks like they decided to forget about that weakness altogether.

YuriOtaniFeb. 01, 2012 - 03:19AM JST Konsta, I do not think ANYTHING will improve Japans image. Japan proves to be popular sport all across the world. I think the worse insult is Russia is trying to invest money to develop resources that were stolen from Japan. Second a peace treaty with Russia is not worth the paper it is printed upon. Look at the past agreements with Russia, have they kept any of them? What about the LNG plant in which Russia stole Japans share paying them back a small amount of their investment.

Now, you are speaking my language. That peace treaty is nonsense. Unfortunately, you want to halt all the relations between Japan and Russia too. That is nonsense in my opinion too. As to the past economical projects, the ripping was done on both sides. And Russians were ripped off first, as far as I know. Exploitation of the agreement could allow to indefinitely increase the price of the projects (money wise), and thus, to never pay back, what was immediately done. Putin intervened ... but who were the thugs? It was not a Japanese fault though, so Japan has all rights to be upset. But, they understand the whole situation and the collaboration continues.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Konsta, so tell me why Japan should invest in Russia, only to lose their shirts again? It looks to me like Russia wants to steal money and make it look like Japans fault. Second becoming dependent on Russian gas/oil is dangerous. Russia can always do a shutoff of the supply for economic or political reasons. They did it at least twice to the Ukraine and Europe.

I just do not see any reason why Japan should sign a peace agreement or invest in Russia. Japan takes it chances buying coal, gas and oil from Russia. If it becomes too much of a percentage any stoppage would do real damage to the Japanese economy, perhaps even leading to deaths. The Americans, Chinese and Koreans would laugh themselves sick at that prospect. Corporate Japan is in trouble, so from my perspective getting dependent on Russia is dangerous. Tell me where my thinking is wrong?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Konsta Feb. 01, 2012 - 04:43PM JST. Unfortunately, there is no interest from the Japanese side, so it looks like they decided to forget about that weakness altogether.

The security environment in the Sea of Japan and Northern Territories area has drastically changed, with China's growing naval powers and the increasingly territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Therefore, it is quite an opportune move for Japan and Russia to cooperate in the matter of safety of the seas. With its military expansion, China is becoming an increasing threat for Russia as it shares its Siberian and Far Eastern borders with China. This is also behind Russia's attempt to modernize its own military in the Far East and Northern Territories. However, it would be detrimental if the naval security talks irritate China. They should proceed so that in the long run, the talks would be inclusive of China as well as the other neighboring countries, and contribute to the stability of the region.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

YuriOtaniFeb. 02, 2012 - 01:01AM JST Konsta, so tell me why Japan should invest in Russia, only to lose their shirts again? It looks to me like Russia wants to steal money and make it look like Japans fault. Second becoming dependent on Russian gas/oil is dangerous. Russia can always do a shutoff of the supply for economic or political reasons. They did it at least twice to the Ukraine and Europe. I just do not see any reason why Japan should sign a peace agreement or invest in Russia. Japan takes it chances buying coal, gas and oil from Russia. If it becomes too much of a percentage any stoppage would do real damage to the Japanese economy, perhaps even leading to deaths. The Americans, Chinese and Koreans would laugh themselves sick at that prospect. Corporate Japan is in trouble, so from my perspective getting dependent on Russia is dangerous. Tell me where my thinking is wrong?

YuriOtani, I think the "Ukrainian pipe" incident was pretty well covered even in western mass media, unless you read only Washington Post or watch exclusively Fox News. Do you want me to repeat it in detail, and explain why it was not Russian fault and nobody could sue Gasprom afterwards, even if they would want to? I really don't want to go there, as it is not a matter of this forum. In Russian place, however, I would halt ALL the supply of Europe, just because they perfectly knew that it was entirely Ukrainian fault, but still they accused Russia and poured tons of dirt in mass media. I was really disgusted. Ruined a lot of my trust in European mass media. Such a bunch of silly petty liers.

Why trading with Russia? No reason, except that it is profitable. Russians do not behave like thugs (I know, you like this word), unless you behave "like thugs" first, i.e. if you are honest with them, they are honest with you. If you attack them, they attack you. All the events you gave in your examples were attempts to rip Russians off, namely to get their natural resources without paying anything back. Do you think anyone else would behave differently? As an example, I can tell you that Nordic countries did not have shortage of supplies from Russia. However, if your attitude is to cheat someone, and then, after getting a response, start crying that "she hit me!!", then there is indeed no reason to trade. Simple really.

Otherwise, I agree that total dependence on natural resources from one place is stupid. So the place where you are wrong, is if Japan would have diverse suppliers, it would have it easier now with Iran, and much more agreeable towards the US. Russia is the "key", because soon she will be the only safe supplier of resources and the Only supplier, against whom the US will not press with various stupid sanctions and wars. That is called a "strategical supplier", a strategical partner, with whom it is better to be friends and not enemies.

That is fully applied to China and Korea as well, so they will not laugh, don't worry.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sfjp330Feb. 02, 2012 - 06:04AM JST The security environment in the Sea of Japan and Northern Territories area has drastically changed, with China's growing naval powers and the increasingly territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Therefore, it is quite an opportune move for Japan and Russia to cooperate in the matter of safety of the seas. With its military expansion, China is becoming an increasing threat for Russia as it shares its Siberian and Far Eastern borders with China. This is also behind Russia's attempt to modernize its own military in the Far East and Northern Territories. However, it would be detrimental if the naval security talks irritate China. They should proceed so that in the long run, the talks would be inclusive of China as well as the other neighboring countries, and contribute to the stability of the region.

I can only agree ... again :). I know agreeing is boring, but ... that is just ... yes on all accounts.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites