This SNA Speakeasy features James D. J. Brown on the theme of “Japan-Russia Relations in the Post-Abe Era.”
Japan’s Prime Minister Abe has long sought to present himself as a skilled practitioner of international affairs, yet the abject failure of his Russia policy raises questions about his diplomatic competence.
While the Abe administration presents Aegis Ashore as an essential and relatively uncontroversial contribution to the defense of Japan from the North Korean threat, in reality the deployment of this missile defense system risks further destabilizing the security situation in Northeast Asia, especially with regard to Russia.
Although claimed as a success, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s latest meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin produced meagre results, demonstrating just how far his Russia policy has fallen short of his lofty ambitions.
Global warming is progressively creating a new reality that ships from East Asia, including Japan, might soon be regularly able to reach Europe more quickly via the shipping route that runs along Russia’s Arctic coast, from the Bering Strait in the east to the Kara Sea in the west, rather than using the conventional route via the Suez Canal.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been working hard to build a positive relationship with Putin’s Russia, but does any substantial reward wait at the end of the rainbow?