China and Japan at “unmentioned swipe” at Trump in America: Russian Federation
Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Aspects of the President Donald Trump administration in America seriously worry elements of the Japanese bureaucracy. Indeed, it is difficult to say the “Trump administration,” since the current leader of America sacks people by twitter or other shoddy means. Hence, it is heartening to see Prime Minister Shinzo Abe not abiding by the anti-Russian Federation narrative of America and the United Kingdom respectively. Equally, the timing of economic talks between China and Japan, shortly before Abe meets Trump, is extremely interesting.
China and Japan, two nations with extremely cordial relations throughout history prior to extremely negative changes adopted by Japan after the Meiji Restoration (1868) and continued until the end of World War Two, remain sometimes aloof towards each other. Often, this is based on certain power processes being implemented by America. In other words, the “divide and rule” policies of America in several parts of the world – for example, anti-Russian Federation and anti-Iran, is equally used to create further schisms between China and Japan. Of course, sometimes it is made worse by a post-World War Two Japanese narrative whereby some nationalist leaning leaders play the “anti-China card” – and, the same “anti-Japan card” is equally used by leaders of China during heightened internal issues.
However, the economic world continues to change with firstly the rise of Japan and now being followed by the rise of China. At the same time, the Russian Federation is playing a more powerful role in the Middle East and this notably applies to Egypt and Syria. Also, positive developments with NATO Turkey (despite clashing over Syria) and improving ties with Saudi Arabia, equates to a new Russian Federation dynamic in the Middle East. Equally important, the military angle with India and the role of the Russian Federation throughout Central Asia shows the reach of this nation. Finally, relations between China and the Russian Federation continue to prosper in various geopolitical areas.
Hence, while it is noticeable that Russophobia is rampant in America and the United Kingdom, it is clear that Japan is taking a mild approach. Indeed, the two leaders of Japan and the Russian Federation have met many times and both respect each other even if differences remain. Therefore, unlike other G-7 nations, Japan’s approach to the Russian Federation is extremely mild to openly warm in many areas.
Returning back to China and Japan, then the first potent economic talks between both nations since 2010 is “eye-opening.” This is based on the “unmentioned swipe” at the Trump administration in relation to a possible trade war.
In a meeting between China and Japan the Foreign Minister of Japan, Taro Kono, said, “We shared the recognition that a trade war caused by any nation would have a massive impact on the prosperity of the global economy.”
Kono also stated, “Japan and China see each other as important partners.”
Equally important, Japan stressed that cooperation with China over the ambitious “One Belt, One Road” policy by political elites in Beijing is more than possible. Of course, Japan is streets ahead of building the infrastructure of countless nations throughout the Asia Pacific. Therefore, both nations could easily combine their respective strengths and projects to benefit China and Japan.
Despite the “quietist approach” of the Abe administration towards America under Trump, it is clear that disquiet exists. This applies to trade, the Korean Peninsula based on the appearance of America sidelining Japan, and the apparent aloofness of the Trump administration in not considering the concerns of Japan to the maximum. Therefore, positive statements in the economic realm between China and Japan shortly before Abe meets Trump – and asking China to express Japan’s concern over the abduction issue to North Korea – certainly entails the feeling of an “unmentioned swipe” aimed at the Trump administration by Japan.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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