In Japan, looking forward to the meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Vladimir Putin on two-day Eastern economic forum, which opened on Friday in Vladivostok. In December it planned visit of President Putin to Tokyo, first, by the way, in four years of Abe stay in power. Japanese Prime Minister visited Russia several times. The last time he met with Vladimir Putin in may in Sochi.
It is known that among other issues on the agenda of the talks in Vladivostok, appear to discuss the expansion of economic cooperation in such areas as energy and technology.
Closer ties with Russia, Japan needed, said Reuters, as a counterweight to the growing power of China, with which Tokyo as a long-standing territorial disputes and other problems. In addition to geopolitical reasons, is, of course, the interest is poor in natural resources Japan is one of the richest natural resources of Russia.
According to government spokesman, Shinzo Abe gave the Minister of Commerce Hiroshige Shoko additional powers and instructed him to develop and deepen economic cooperation between the two countries.
A former legislator, Muneo Suzuki, who helped the government with advice on relations with Russia, believes that the expansion of economic relations with a view to resolving the territorial dispute over the Kurils makes sense, because the rich minerals in combination with Japanese technology can make it very mutually beneficial.
"President Putin hopes to receive Japanese technology,- quotes Reuters the words of Muneo Suzuki.- If they are needed for development of the Russian Far East, we have to share them. As for Japan, we buy oil and gas in the middle East, which is 10 thousand kilometers from us. Our interest in stable energy supplies through Vladivostok, which is on the doorstep.
Of course, the expansion of economic relations with Russia, Japan has not only supporters but also opponents. Skeptics believe that economic cooperation will not force Putin to give Tokyo that he believes the Russian territory. They remind you that despite the economic difficulties, the Russian President has a very high rating thanks to the annexation of Crimea, and not the transfer of Russian land to other States.
"Annexation of the Crimea made him a great leader, who returned the lost territories and dramatically increased its popularity among the Russians,- said Shigeki Hakamada, Professor at the University of Aoyama Gakuin.- Seems to me inconceivable that Putin will give the island, which he repeatedly called the Russian land."
Another expert on the Far East - James brown, Professor of Japanese branch of temple University, by the way, the oldest foreign University in Japan, too, is sceptical about the intention of the Japanese authorities to solve the territorial dispute through the economy. He believes that investment growth in infrastructure of the Kuril Islands is a clear sign of the unwillingness of Russia to give the disputed Islands to Japan.
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