politics

Putin-Abe summit brings big Japan-Russia economic projects

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NUCLEAR ENERGY

This is hugely underreported in the western media.

Long story short, Japan needs Russian expertise and technology to handle Fukushima, and that's been one of the key motivating factors that led Abe to cut a deal with Russia.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Well that escalated fast.

I wonder if this cooperation would have occurred if Hillary had won. Back to business people, enough of this hegemony crap. Just curious, I wonder if the hegomons kept Abe from striking deals with Russia?

and expanding tourism in the region, north of Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido.

Are there any hot springs on those islands? A lavish Casino resort might work. The resorts could close down for the winters and some young couple with their son, a writer would be ideal for the peace and quite, could become the "caretakers".

There are some cool calderas all along that island chain. Russian family farmers moving to Hokkaido? Why not. They're already used to the winters and Hokkaido needs the people. Little Moscow...LOL

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Abe did not expect the territory issue get solved easily with Russia. He is thinking more seriously about enhancing Japan's independent diplomatic power not like Japan that depended solely on America about it. Japan is realizing America is changing its roles in the world. He wants Japan to become a country that can display its own diplomatic ability among America, Russia, China and Europe and hopes it will lead to a successful restraining of China's expansion in this region.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Lots of Russian log houses built by a Russian company around here. They are really cool. Anyways with China out of control Russia, Japan and America all need to be on good terms with one another. They are running amok in the Spratly Islands at the moment.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

agreed on cooperation

agreed to study the feasibility

plans to work

agreed to set up... to identify projects

agreed to consider ways to cooperate

The results seem inflated to me. Sounds more like they only agreed to agree.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

More spin than Spinny McSpinface riding a spinning top in a tornado.

The "summit" was a disaster for Abe, yet another failure to add to a long and growing list:

TPP - fail Growth - fail Inflation - fail Deregulation - fail Trade reform - fail

Diplomacy - miserable failure. Oh, he made friends with Robert Mugabe. That's something, I suppose. And he gave Trump a golf club.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

He wants Japan to become a country that can display its own diplomatic ability among America, Russia, China and Europe and hopes it will lead to a successful restraining of China's expansion in this region.

Schopenhauer,

If this is your idea of ABILITY, then serious work needs to be done, sorry.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Putin has big win over this summit, he gave up nothing but inflicting Abe's diplomatic embarassment! And Japanese people believes their leader can lead their nation to win world power respects? They should wake up from Abe's hoax.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Thanks for publishing a trade directory.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Schopenhauer: "He wants Japan to become a country that can display its own diplomatic ability among America, Russia, China and Europe and hopes it will lead to a successful restraining of China's expansion in this region."

Hahaha... well, he may want that, but he absolutely failed. What he DID show is Japan's complete INABILITY to deal with other countries and show independence. He gave Putin everything a peace treaty would have ensured without Putin having to settle the island issue to get it, and he made everyone angry at home while also making everyone except Russia upset as well. Please do tell us how you see what occurred as a success. And before you say a record number of contracts were signed, keep in mind he himself said they basically mean nothing if not enacted.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As expected, Putin did not budge an inch on the NT issue, so what kind of "cooperation" are we talking about. Putin's treatment of Abe is the classic definition of "jerking (somone) around." More failed Japanese diplomacy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think Paulinusa has it about right. They agreed to agree, and that is about all that can be said about it. Abe basically put a diplomatic umbrella over a passel of deals made between Russian corporations and Japanese corporations, which is pretty much his job. The article has an interesting line that gives one pause: Russia has a trade surplus with Japan solely because of energy exports. Well.... yeah. Obama put it more bluntly yesterday when he said that all Russia seems to offer the world is fossil fuels and weapons. And that is about right.

And if you look at the deals, that is what you see. Russia wants to offer more, but Japanese companies have been jerked too many times by Russian companies, so all of these deals have the Putin seal of approval. That means something. Apparently it means enough that the major houses in Japan are willing to invest 40 billion TODAY that they were not willing to invest YESTERDAY.

The Rosatom thing is a win-win. I am skeptical that Japan is going to learn much from Rosatom. If anything, it will be the other way around. Russia and the former republics have a lot of Rosatom reactors, and their ..... standards leave something to be desired. I expect that Rosatom can provide labor and some equipment to Japan in exchange for some technologies from Japan that can be applied to current and future Rosatom projects. I think fuel was also mentioned. That never hurts. This might also be a way for Japan to get its foot in the door on developing projects in India and the Islamic republics south of Russia, maybe even Turkey.

So if you want to make a deal with a Russian company, make sure that Putin gets his cut, make sure that you sign a contract at a major diplomatic event, and make sure that Japan's government guarantees your success with loan guarantees, insurance, etc. Then you have at least a 50% chance of getting your money back.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

First steps are taken towards each other. No doubt, two presidents found a win-win solution.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Great win for abe! Good on putin. 70 years later, making it work.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I get really discouraged to see so many commenters having such a myopic view of things. People are out there signing contracts to take delivery of natural gas in 2040, and not just Japan and Russia. This idea that "Japan needs to get this now" or "Wow, Japan really blew it." kind of mindset ignores the extended horizon that most people in positions of responsibility deal with on a daily basis. Only a janitor or bartender thinks about "sticking it to the other guy" for some kind of short term gain, or for this idea of nationalism, which is cheap as dirt these days..

I have read about all of the fossil fuel and petrochemical deals, and they all have a pretty long time horizon. That kind of optimism overshadows the disposition of these four tiny little islands. As I have said many times, the islands themselves are about worthless, or worse than worthless, but cooperation on other projects might wind up being important someday. If you look objectively at what is going on, you see Japan withholding capital and knowhow to a great degree, and Russia soliciting it. Doesn't that imply that Russia would have more to gain from a better relationship with Japan than vice versa? To me it does. I will continue to see the Northern Territories as Russia's impediment. Oh sure. Japan will throw Russia a bone and take some risks. But the big investments go to Canada, Australia, and the US. It won't be different until Russia makes it different by "surrendering" to their own self-interest..

The issue is petty. If you put all the shacks and rusty machinery that Russians have on those four islands up for auction, I would bet you could not get 1 billion for the whole lot, let alone 40 billion dollars. Anything produced by those people and that machinery is already available on markets, and Japan buys some already, so the timber and fish are not worth much on a marginal basis, either.

But these deals, folks. This is what Japan does, everybody. This is how Japan succeeds. It finds areas of mutual interest and makes deals. The Northern Territories are a red herring. They serve only as a justification for periodic high level talks, conducted peacefully, which produce benefits for all concerned. And those benefits, however small they might seem, are worth a lot more than the Northern Territories themselves.

And one more thing. What is a strong leader? Did Abe "lose?" Did Putin "win?" Gee, it seems to me that two guys went to the table. One let his pride and political posture keep him from making the best deals for his constituents. One failed to be a peacemaker. One failed to secure opportunities beyond what "a territorial dispute" would normally prevent. The other was flexible. Gracious. Receptive. Supporting efforts of constituents to get what they wanted under the best conditions. Encouraging peaceful development. Being a peacemaker. I wouldn't call Putin a loser, but he "won" what Abe wanted him to win. Putin could have had a lot more. He could have had a goose, but he got a couple of eggs and four rocks.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I saw the news conference. Mr. Putin answered the question very thoroughly about the "territorial disputes." He wants Japan to take in consideration Russia's interest and security concerns considering the intimate relationship between Japan and the US. Mr. Abe went on and on about how Japanese people who are living on these islands want their land to return to their homeland due to ancestry graves or what have you (maybe hinting that Russia was the bad guy who robbed their land). This prompted Mr. Putin to include the historical explanation on how the islands came under Russia's ownership.

It's clear from the beginning that Putin won't trade any territory for economic gains and he mentioned that but by saying he does want to resolve it may just mean he wants the Japanese to feel like they've made progress or gained something. For the time being, Russia is just making some deals and stalling for time while giving Japan hope.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For some Japanese people like those in L.D.P. including Mr.Abe believes Russia is a vast massive country that is even bigger than China and Canada combined. The Russians should not hesitate to lose those four sesame sized islands to get some economic charities from Japan. Japan let the US. military stationing to exchange of being wealthy status in 1960s until now, so what's wrong is trading your country with another country for some kind of benefits right in front of you. That's the Japanese perspective and their values. But Mr.Putin has frustrated Japan with his defiance.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

elephant200 DEC. 18, 2016 - 04:49PM JST Mr.Abe believes Russia is a vast massive country that is even bigger than China and Canada combined.

In oil and natural gas.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No joint declaration or statement after summit? Oh what a shame !

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well, these are first steps so Japan should be hopeful but wary seeing as Russia has no expertise or trustworthiness in international cooperation. The nuclear deal for decontamination should be scrapped immediately though, no one in their right mind would trust Russia on that

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Massive potential for Japan and Russia to work together. Putin and Abe recognise this and are working together. Russia badly needs to revitalise its Far Eastern regions. Remember China has undeclared territorial ambitions towards much of the Russian Far East.

Hopefully some benefits can be reached in the tourism space. I see though Russians more likely to want to visit Disneyland than Hokkaido, but the more Japanese that visit the likes of Sakhalin, Khabarovsk and Vladivostok the better. Will be interesting to see if visa requirements are loosened on both sides.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I hope that the difficult times in the economic relations between Russia and Japan will be over soon.

In the 3rd quarter of 2016, Russia’s trade with Japan was $4,232,575,981, down 10.64% ($503,966,783) from the 3rd quarter of 2015. This does not correspond to the potential of the two countries.

The full report on Russia’s trade with Japan in the 3rd quarter of 2016 is available here: http://en.russian-trade.com/reports-and-reviews/2016-12/russian-trade-with-japan-in-the-3rd-quarter-of-2016/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

More spin than Spinny McSpinface riding a spinning top in a tornado. The "summit" was a disaster for Abe, yet another failure to add to a long and growing list: TPP - fail Growth - fail Inflation - fail Deregulation - fail Trade reform - fail Diplomacy - miserable failure. Oh, he made friends with Robert Mugabe. That's something, I suppose. And he gave Trump a golf club.

excellent post. and just like I said, the J-media will spin this as a win for Abe the same way they were touting the shima summit as boosting Japan's image when it only made Abe look like the twat he is. The spin is already in motion. This PM has been an unmitigated disaster from day 1

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Just make sure that Japan doesn't end up footing all the bill and after completion, Russia takes claim to everything and says "sayonara".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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