There’s a saying that goes: the enemy of your enemy is your friend. In Japan’s case, the friend of its enemy is also its friend. Japan has recently made steps to solidify its alliance with Russia, which is consequently friendly with China, Tokyo’s budding enemy. Will Vladimir Putin betray Xi Jinping?
Japan to Poach Russia?
According to reports, Japan has established a ministry in charge of promoting relations with Russia. The goal of the organization is to create and ensure a stronger trade so as to resolve a long-standing diplomatic struggle between the nations.
According to NHK, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga revealed the country’s plans to develop the said ministry. However, the official also noted that the portfolio will be considered under Economic, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko. The latter will continue with his function.
The announcement came following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s arrival in Moscow’s far eastern port of Vladivostok. The Russian president is set to talk with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
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What the Countries Want
“What President Putin is hoping for is Japan’s technology. If Japan’s technology is sought after for the development of Russia’s Far East, we should make it available,” Business Insider quoted former lawmaker Muneo Suzuki, who has also been an adviser to the Japanese prime ministers on Russian relations.
“As for Japan, we are importing oil and gas from the Middle East, which is some 10,000 km away. It would be in our national interest to procure them stably from Vladivostok or Sakhalin, which are just a stone’s throw away,” said Suzuki.
The talks are happening in the midst of friendlier relations with Russia and China. The two have come together as a result of Western isolation, according to analysts. However, as Russia sends aid to China on the South China Sea dispute, there are concerns on whether the country will be caught in between Japan and China’s tensions.