Former Leader of Japan visits Crimea: Japan and Russian Federation Relations
Takeshi Hasegawa, Galina Zobova and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The Russian Federation is a pivotal nation for Japan in the area of security, energy links, enabling greater access to Central Asian nations, breaking down barriers with China and for other essential reasons. Ukraine, on the contrary, isn’t a pivotal nation for Japan. Also, Ukraine is divided based on ethnicity, linguistic realities, cultural factors, political thinking and religious issues. Therefore, the visit to Crimea by Yukio Hatoyama, the former Prime Minister of Japan, should be viewed in relation to the geopolitical reality of Japan and the Russian Federation.
TASS – Russian News Agency – reports that Hatoyama said: “Japan should think hard whether imposing sanctions, just following European countries and the United States is the right decision to make.”
This comment is more than fair because it is abundantly clear that the Russian Federation is not only a geopolitical reality, but more important, this powerful nation can boost the energy independency that Japan craves for. After all, the overt reliance on Middle Eastern energy means that Japan is beholden to feudal monarchs and the whims of America. Not only this, it is clear that Northern Japan and the Russian Far East would equally gain from better relations between Moscow and Tokyo based on the economic factor.
Hatoyama rightly pointed out that “Facts haven’t been delivered to Japan accurately. I would like to see myself how residents are feeling.”
He continued by stressing: “An opinion poll showed that residents expressed their wish for annexation.”
“What’s most important in democracy is what local residents feel.”
Indeed, it must be remembered that Japan recognized Kosovo being taken away from Serbia. Once more, it is clear that this decision was based on the meddling of America because this part of the Balkans doesn’t have any major significance for Japan. Of course, Japan wants favorable relations with all Balkan states but clearly Kosovo wasn’t of importance to this nation outside of the whims of America.
Japan needs to create a foreign policy based on self-interests, geopolitical concerns, expanding new energy links, increasing trade and fostering closer ties with all regional powers. Therefore, China and the Russian Federation are equally important. However, because of America the natural geopolitical environment is being hindered and this isn’t in the vested interests of Japan in the long-term.
Hatoyama is known for being a maverick to some extent, for example he visited Iran despite pressure from the usual channels. Despite this, it is clear that the former Prime Minister of Japan is correct in stating that Japan needs to follow an independent foreign policy based on the natural geopolitical concerns of the land of the rising sun.
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