Japanese Politicians Hoping to Kick Start a Natural Gas Pipeline with the Russian Federation
Michiyo Tanabe and Nuray Lydia Oglu
Modern Tokyo Times
If America is taken out of the equation in relation to geopolitical meddling then Japan and the Russian Federation would have a blooming relationship based on mutual shared interests. These interests apply to greater cultural interaction, economic development, geopolitical issues, greater partnership in the area of energy and other natural resources, closer military ties – and other powerful areas. Therefore, it is hoped that the government of Prime Minister Abe will listen deeply to thirty-three Japanese lawmakers that desire a new important gas pipeline that will link both nations.
Lee Jay Walker at Modern Tokyo Times states: “Indeed, the Russian Federation in the area of energy and natural resources is of major significance to all nations in Northeast Asia. This reality is abundantly clear to China and this also ties in with Central Asia where the influence of the Russian Federation remains significant, to say the least. Of course, for China the military angle and space technology in relation to the Russian Federation is also of major importance for the power brokers in Beijing. Likewise, both North Korea and South Korea understand the importance of developing good relations with Moscow. Indeed, unlike other nations throughout the region, the Russian Federation is viewed to be a neutral power throughout the region whereby political elites in Moscow can play a very important role in times of tension throughout Northeast Asia.”
The proposed new gas pipeline will link the Sakhalin Island (Russian Federation) with the prefecture of Ibaraki (Japan). Obviously, this will boost the regional economy of Northern Japan and Ibaraki because many companies will gain in various ways. Also, given the internal crisis in Japan in the area of energy in relation to the nuclear crisis that erupted after a powerful 9.0-magnitude earthquake triggered a brutal tsunami; then clearly the thirty-three Japanese lawmakers have a valid point. Not only this, with the Russian Federation signing a major energy deal with China then it is equally essential that Japan increases its economic, political and geopolitical interests with power brokers based in Moscow.
Naokazu Takemoto, an influential individual within the lawmakers group, is making it known that he will discuss this issue with the leader of Japan. It also bodes well that the leaders of Japan and the Russian Federation have a firm relationship therefore it is hoped that Abe will not succumb to any possible meddling from Washington. After all, while Japan and America have a special relationship it is equally clear that you should never put all your eggs in one basket. Therefore, Japan needs to focus on developing stronger ties with the Russian Federation and likewise political elites in Moscow must become more understanding of the interests of Japan.
President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to visit Japan this autumn therefore it is a great opportunity for both leaders to cement ties between both nations to a much higher degree. This reality means that Takemoto needs to build up fresh momentum and it is hoped that other Japanese lawmakers will come on board. The deal may appear minor after China and the Russian Federation recently agreed to a $400 billion deal whereby Russia’s gas will help to boost the economy of China by enabling a natural flow of energy to this nation over the next 30 years in this deal. Despite this, the $5.9 billion plan being proposed between Japan and the Russian Federation may unleash other fresh projects in the near future.
In the last three years after the nuclear crisis in Fukushima it is known that spending on liquefied imports of natural gas is now just over double the costs of pre-March 11. Of course, the Ministry of Finance fully understands the need to implement a new energy policy in order to meet the demands of business companies. It is hoped that Abe will listen to Takemoto and all members of the group that supports a deal between Japan and the Russian Federation.
In another article by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated: “The Russian Federation is a binding force in uniting Eurasia and Central Asia therefore political elites in Tokyo need to focus on geopolitics and national interests. At the same time, with China and Japan relations being frosty to say the least it is clear that Moscow desires to be an honest broker. Likewise, the Korean Peninsula is very complex but once more the Russian Federation is viewed positively because of being diplomatic towards all regional powers. Similarly, Northern Japan needs greater economic investment and the natural linkages between the Russian Far East and Northern Japan is clear for all to see. Therefore, the above realities and the significance of energy issues and other natural resources that Japan needs must be weighed up heavily by political elites in Tokyo.”
The Foreign Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, commented in the past that “… Cooperation between Japan and Russia, as key players in the Pacific Ocean region, is important for fortifying peace and stability in the region.”
Therefore, it is hoped that the thirty-three Japanese lawmakers within the ruling parties of Japan will impact greatly on Abe. After all, Japan must always put national interests first rather than succumbing to the whims of America.
Lee Jay Walker gave support to both main writers