Japan Should Strengthen Ties with the Russian Federation

Japan Should Strengthen Ties with the Russian Federation

Galina Zobova, Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan should implement a major policy shift based on strengthening ties with the Russian Federation. If not, then only China will gain from Japan’s obsession with placating America. However, the political and military sands are shifting and it is in the interest of Japan to move with the times. If not, Japan will remain a peripheral power regionally despite the economic power of this nation.

In Central Asia and the vast lands of Eurasia it is abundantly clear that the Russian Federation remains pivotal to all surrounding nations. Indeed, in the realm of economics and military prowess it is Moscow that is the binding force. Similarly, throughout the Caucasus region all independent nations keep a watchful eye on the geopolitical and energy politics of the Russian Federation. Likewise, the military, political and energy angle in Northeast Asia means that China, North Korea and South Korea all seek cordial relations with the Russian Federation. Therefore, Japan can’t afford to be isolated regionally because only Taiwan is a constant friend of the land of the rising sun.

Japan is blighted by many territorial problems, including with the Russian Federation. Therefore, the more even-handed approach taken by Moscow will benefit Japan. This notably applies to Japan’s dispute with China. Indeed, the only thing that North Korea and South Korea share in common – in the area of geopolitics – is that both nations view the Russian Federation to be an honest broker.

In another article by Modern Tokyo Times related to this issue, it was stated: “Sadly, while the government of Prime Minister Abe is rather mooted towards the current crisis in the Ukraine, it is still clear that Washington is pulling the strings. Of course, Japan doesn’t need ill intentions towards either the Russian Federation or the Ukraine therefore a more neutral stance is needed. After all, the crisis in Crimea and the current situation in Southeastern Ukraine began after a violent coup took place in Kiev. In other words, the actions of America and the European Union (EU) enticed nationalist forces, alongside the involvement of covert operatives, to whip up a storm after the leader of the Ukraine decided on the economic package of the Russian Federation.”

Therefore, Japan should stand up and be counted within the G-7 and show that elites in Tokyo understand the full complexity of the crisis in the Ukraine. In other words, Japan should open the doors to greater economic and energy deals with the Russian Federation by filling the vacuum. If not, then only China will gain from strengthening political, economic and military ties with the Russian Federation. This reality isn’t in the interest of Japan and clearly Ukraine is of minor importance when compared with the power and influence of the Russian Federation. .

Energy politics is essential for all major powers but currently Japan isn’t helping itself. After all, the vast energy resources of the Russian Federation are abundantly clear. At the same time, the power mechanisms of Moscow are heavily felt throughout Central Asia and the Caucasus region. Therefore, multiple energy networks involve the Russian Federation with various other nations throughout the geopolitical space of this nation. This reality could boost Northern Japan and enable Tokyo to diversify its energy policy. Indeed, the Russian Far East and Northern Japan have much to gain from greater relations between both nations.

Modern Tokyo Times stated in a past article that: “Simply put, the Russian Federation is of major strategic significance to Japan and the same applies to energy related issues and other important areas. Therefore, Japan mustn’t burn its bridges based on the whims of America.”

Of course, America will remain to be a pivotal nation for Japan and likewise elites in Washington will continue to gain from the geopolitical and economic reality of Japan. Despite this, Japan must open a new chapter whereby this nation reaches out to nations like China and the Russian Federation to a much greater degree. Therefore, it is hoped that Japan will formulate a new foreign policy aimed at focusing much more on the Russian Federation in order to protect the natural self-interests of Japan.


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