Russian-Japanese summit was held in Japan in the middle of this month after careful preparation. However, the problem of “Northern territories” there has been no progress. The newspaper “Sankei” stressed that the situation is extremely difficult: “it Became clear that the Russian position in the territories is absolute.” In turn, the “Yomiuri” welcomed the fact that the heads of both countries expressed their determination to sign a peace Treaty. According to the newspaper, this will be the starting point for overcoming this problem.
In addition to the “Sankei” serious concern about the negotiations between President Putin and Prime Minister Abe also expressed “Mainichi” and “Asahi”. “If the leaders of Russia and Japan will lead the dialogue might be a territorial problem will move from the dead point. Unfortunately, reality has shown that these expectations are groundless” (“Mainichi”); “Prime Minister Abe focused on the signing of a peace Treaty, including the problem of “Northern territories”. In turn, President Putin is interested in economic cooperation with Japan. Differences in positions are extremely serious” (“Asahi”).
With regard to territorial issues, the two days of negotiations, the parties agreed only on the beginning of the discussion of joint economic activities on the basis of special system and the possibility of free travel of the former indigenous inhabitants of the Islands. Meanwhile, Putin and Abe elaborated on Russian-Japanese economic cooperation.
Commenting on the Soviet-Japanese Declaration of 1956, which Putin has repeatedly stated that it refers to the transfer of Shikotan and Habomai, but nothing is said about sovereignty. He’s not even trying to discuss the issue of ownership of the four Islands, including Kunashiri and Etorofu. “We need to demand repayment and force Russia to recognize the rights of Japan in the four Northern Islands, which are originally a Japanese territory. In subsequent negotiations should reaffirm the fundamental principles,” according to “Sankei”.
“Sankei” and “Yomiuri” in different ways belong to the following statement by Prime Minister Abe: “If you keep insisting on their own justice, the territorial problem is not solved.” “Sankei”, who believes that can be shaken fundamental principles of territorial negotiations, said: “it is Impossible to change the approach to sovereignty and territory. Japan’s position must be based on law and justice. China seized the Senkaku archipelago and tries to change the status quo in the South China sea, is closely monitoring Japan’s actions”.
In turn, the “Yomiuri” welcomes flexible: “we Need to stop communicating, which resembles a game of ping-pong. Heads of state should not only constantly reminded of existing principles, but also to get closer in order to try to find a real method of solution, oriented to the future.”
It is assumed that Abe and Putin will be in power for a long time. “For the leaders of both countries, it is important to conduct a continuous dialogue,” said “Yomiuri”.
Views “Sankei” and “Yomiuri” are different in respect of agreements on joint business activity, which Prime Minister Abe has called an important step towards a peace Treaty.
According to the “Sankei”, a similar idea occurred in the past, however, the views of Moscow and Tokyo on the legislation sold out, so it was not implemented. The newspaper doubts that there will be created a special system that satisfies both sides. “Yomiuri” said that now the Japanese government should demonstrate wisdom: “If it happens, it is hoped that the relationship of trust between Russia and Japan will be strengthened. This will also apply to Russians living on the Islands now.”
In 2014 Russia annexed the Crimea, which led to Western economic sanctions imposed against it. Most publications noted that Japan, walking in step with the West could force Russia to change its behavior. It was also noted that negotiations with Russia should be interpreted with caution.
However, some observers believe that given the Chinese expansion, as well as nuclear and missile development of the DPRK, a dialogue with Russia can have a positive impact on security in northeast Asia. It is still unclear what kind of policy towards Russia will hold the Donald trump.
Most likely, the views on Russian-Japanese negotiations will be constantly changing. However, to put the territorial issue to chance is impossible.
Editorial after the meeting, Abe and Putin
• “Sankei”: “be mindful of the fundamental principles of justice and law; joint economic activities on Islands threat”;
• “Asahi”, “Too divisive”;
• “Mainiti”: “Exit from the territorial negotiations is not visible”;
• “Yomiuri”: “an Important starting point for the solution of territorial problems; to build trust through the sharing of business activity”;
• “Nihon Keizai Shimbun”: “to Monitor the actions of Russia and coolly negotiate”;
• Tokyo: “the Interaction changes the story.”