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  • 2019.11.11 Monday
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  • by スポンサードリンク


A Peace Treaty with Russia

 On November 14th, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had talks with Russian Preasident Vladimir Putin in Singapore, and agreed to accelerate negotiations for a peace treaty. I desperately hope that the Abe Cabinet will never concede to Russia in terms of the complete restoration of the Northern Territory.                                                                              After President Putin visited Japan in December 2016, former islanders gained the right to fly to visit their family graves, and Japan started a researching ways to facilitate “economic co-operation.”                                                                               Prime Minister Abe and President Putin will have talks again on the 30th during the G20 Summit in Argentina, and the Japanese prime minister is going to visit Russia this January.                                                                              Japan and the Soviet Union signed The Co-Declaration in 1956, which agreed to return the Habamai Archipelago and Shikotan Island at the conclusion of a formal peace treaty. And, Japan and Russia agreed to resolve the territorial issue of the 4 islands and conclude a peace treaty in the Tokyo Declaration in 1993.                                                                              This September, President Putin brazenly floated the idea of a peace treaty without preconditions. Even though he feels the co-declaration of 1956 is reasonable, he stated that the declaration did not refer to the sovereignty of the islands. I don’t believe that he will in effect restore the 2 islands to Japan for the time being, much less all 4 islands.                                                                              President Putin had maintained his approval rating at 82% as of April. However, according to the Levada Center, the rate dropped to 66% after he hiked retirement ages in the pension reform. Russians generally have a positive view of Japan. However, they believe that the Soviet Union acquired the Northern Territory as a result of World War 2, and that Russia does not have to return the islands. If he returns even 2 islands, his approval rating will further nosedive.                                                                              At the end of World War 2, the Soviet Union invaded the Northern Territory, violating the Japan – Soviet Nonaggression Pact. And, the U.S. has denied the legal effectiveness of the Secret Yalta Agreement. I believe that Japan should unilaterally bring the territorial dispute before the International Court of Justice even though Russia will not respond to the lawsuit.                                                                              The oil price is stabling around 70 U.S. dollars par barrel, and it won’t surpass 100 dollars any time soon due to shale oil. The price of natural gas will similarly be kept low. In addition, Russia is suffering from western economic sanctions. There is a reasonable possibility that Russia will default again.                                                                              The Abe Cabinet should not be in a hurry to restore the Northern Territory. As time passes, Japan’s position will only grow stronger.


  • 2019.11.11 Monday
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  • 15:58
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  • by スポンサードリンク


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