Japan like many other countries was waiting for Biden to come clean on his foreign policy direction going ahead. However, like many other allies it is also disappointed in the choices the Biden administration is making, be it abandoning allies in the Middle East and moving away from the strategy of containment vis a vis China. Taking things into its own hands, Tokyo is all set to take an anti-American turn for the first time in a very long time. It has agreed with Russia and Putin to cooperate with Russia in the Russia’s Far East and the Arctic.
Japan has offered to cooperate on Arctic shipments and agricultural imports from the sparsely populated Russian Far East, the state-run news agency RIA Novosti reported Monday. The “new concept of cooperation” comes amid Tokyo’s years-long efforts to return a disputed Pacific island chain that Moscow has held since the end of World War II. As per the same news, Japan’s Ambassador in Moscow Toyohisa Kozuki sent the proposal to Russian Far East and Arctic Minister Alexei Chekunov detailing several areas of cooperation.
These developments were in the making for some time and as previously reported by TFI, Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi disclosed plans to carry out a joint economic activity with Russia on the Southern Kuril Islands. Motegi made these remarks on Monday during a program speech at the opening session of the Japanese Parliament.
The Japanese Foreign Minister said, “We are steadily working on carrying out joint economic activity [with Russian] on four northern islands (called Southern Kurils by Russia), as well as on humanitarian projects for their former residents.” He added, “Like the ones responsible for the negotiation process, we are working on promoting it following the policy aimed to resolve the territorial issue and sign a peace treaty [with Russian], following the agreements reached in Singapore in 2018.”
The sides reportedly met to discuss Japan’s proposal for energy, transportation and port infrastructure cooperation, as well as soybean and maize imports from Far East Russia and joint work in fishing and kelp cultivation. Japan is also seeking to work with Russia on building greenhouses to grow strawberries, onions and other vegetables.
Under the Trump administration, Russia and the USA had realized that while they were reducing their Nuclear Stockpile, China was pulling a fast one on them. However, now this basic understanding is gone and Biden administration has moved back to demonising Russia and playing down China threat. However, Japan is not buying these arguments anymore and has taken a steep anti-USA turn, by increasing cooperation with Russian and following an independent foreign policy.