Friday, December 16, 2016

Putin meets Abe in Yamaguchi

Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia visited Japan.

Putin had a meeting with Shinzo Abe. Prime Minister of Japan, in Yamaguchi prefecture, Abe's hometown, yesterday. And today, he went to Tokyo for further conversation.

Aljazzera: Putin and Abe seek deal over islands disputed since WW2

Russia and Japan have had a dispute with the governance of Kuril Islands since WWII. The Kuril Islands are now under the ruling of Russia. But Japanese are dreaming the Kuril Islands returned to Japan again. In recent years, Putin suggested the possibility of negotiation regarding this issue in the future. And Abe has been eager to draw positive comments from Putin. Therefore, Abe invited Putin to Japan.

However, the current situation is against Japan. Firstly, Putin welcomed Japan to become close because Russia was suffering from deteriorated relationship with European nations after its conquering of Crimea. But recently, Donald Trump, the President-elect, expresses a hope to improve the relationship with Russia. If the US is collaborating with Russia, Putin no more needs Japan's contribution.

In yesterday's meeting, it seems no conversation with complicated issues was made. Today, the two leaders will continue the negotiation regarding the Kuril Island and economic cooperation of Japan to Russia. Previously, Abe mentioned up to one billion USD of investment to Russia. But, this idea will be opposed by many lawmakers, if the issue of Kuril Island is not expected to be resolved shortly.

In my feeling, Russia will not return the Kuril Islands to Japan. To begin with, it is a little doubtful the claim of Japan to own the Kuril Islands can be justified because Japan had abandoned the right of owning foreign lands in San-Fransisco treaty.

On the other hand, Russia is now a gigantic nation. Friendship with Russia should be maintained for Japan to keep it peaceful and fertile. Considerably a significant amount of investment is acceptable for it. I hope the meeting of Putin and Abe will be fruitful.

By the way, Yamaguchi prefecture is located on the west side of Honshu. There are many Buddhist temples there. I visited there last month for attending an academic conference. It was so beautiful.

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