Russia Rebukes Japan for NATO Nations in Hokkaido

Russia Rebukes Japan for NATO Nations in Hokkaido

Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Shinzo Abe (brutally assassinated) led Japan twice. He was very influential within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) even after leaving office.

Under his leadership, Abe sought cordial relations with the Russian Federation. Hence, when Crimea reverted to the Russian Federation (taken from Russia under the Soviet Union), Abe still focused on positive relations with President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation.

However, the current leader of Japan (Prime Minister Fumio Kishida) enacted an anti-Russian Federation foreign policy. This policy is encouraged and welcomed by the Democratic Party in America under President Joe Biden. It also panders to internal nationalist tendencies.

American bases can be found throughout Japan – with the region of Okinawa (Ryukyu) bearing the brunt. Hence, NATO America is part and parcel of the geopolitics of Japan. However, Japan’s declaration that two other NATO members (Germany and Spain) will be holding joint military exercises on the island of Hokkaido is deemed by the Russian Federation to be a “dangerous escalation.”

Hokkaido is in the environs of the geopolitical concerns of the Russian Federation based on the closeness of this part of Japan to the Russian Far East.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation condemned the posture of the Kishida administration on further straining relations.

The website (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation) says, “On June 28, the Russian Federation delivered a strong protest to the Embassy of Japan in Russia against the Japanese authorities’ plan to conduct a series of joint military exercises with Germany and Spain on the island of Hokkaido, in close proximity to the borders of the Russian Federation, from July 19 to 25.”

It further stated, “The Japanese side has been pointed out that provocative military activity near our country’s Far Eastern borders, including in cooperation with extra-regional NATO member states, is totally unacceptable. We view such activity as a potential threat to the security of the Russian Federation.”

The press release by the Russian Federation concluded, “We have stressed that the irresponsible policy by the administration of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida puts Tokyo on the path to a dangerous escalation of tensions in Northeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region as a whole and warned about respective counter-measures on strengthening our defense capabilities and protection of the Russian Federation sovereignty.”

The Russian Federation is likely to further strengthen the military defenses of the Kuril Islands (Northern Territories – Japan) in response to the perceived provocation in the eyes of the Russian Federation.

In the past, Andrey Rudenko (Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation) said, “We have taken note of the [Japanese Prime Minister Fumio] Kishida administration’s accelerated implementation of abandoning a policy of peaceful development, which has been professed for many decades, and embarking on a track of fast-tracked militarization. Among the concrete steps along these lines are the holding of large-scale military exercises near Russia’s borders together with non-regional partners, the adoption of an updated version of doctrinal documents in the field of defense and security with a view to creating an attack potential and an unprecedented increase in defense spending.”

He continued, “We consider such activity by Tokyo as a serious challenge to the security of our country and the Asia-Pacific Region as a whole. We warn that if this practice continues, we will be forced to take proportionate counter-measures in order to block military threats to Russia.”

Japan is the “divisionist dream of America” in Northeast Asia.

The Kishida administration and the current Japanese Foreign Ministry continue to adopt an anti-Russian Federation posture – unlike the Abe administration (and many others who sought to build bridges).

Japan fully understands that allowing other NATO nations in the environs of Hokkaido (America is firmly embedded in Japan) will be deemed provocative by the Russian Federation.

Accordingly, Kishida is looking to NATO nations in distant lands – rather than seeking closer ties with regional powers in Northeast Asia (China and the Russian Federation).

It is hoped that a future reset between Japan and the Russian Federation will emerge once the Kishida administration ends.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group Modern Tokyo Times – International News and Japan News – Sawako Utsumi’s website and Modern Tokyo Times artist Modern Tokyo News – Tokyo News and International News