Japan’s pacifist stance does not seem to bode well with other nations. That is, if the pacifist move is directed towards Russia, seen by other countries as the latest villain to annex Crimea from Ukraine. A senior official from Russia who was denied entry to the United States was able to visit Japan early this week for a summit, in spite of the sanction imposed by members of the G7.
Sergey Naryshkin, a lower house chairman of Russia, was in Tokyo on June 2 to meet with some government personalities on the topic of Russian culture promotion. Naryshkin gave a speech, which bore Russian President Vladimir Putin’s message, describing the event as one that “plays a very important role in enhancing our mutual trust.” Hiroshige Seko, adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, responded on the authority of the premier, saying that Tokyo hopes exchanges based on understanding between the two nations’ people will continue. Japan has been working on maintaining peaceful connections with Russia, as the two neighbors look towards resolving the territory dispute pertaining the Northern Territories off Hokkaido. One diplomatic source described Naryshkin as being close to Putin, and someone who the Russian president listens to, which seems to be the reason Japan is intent on cultivating relationship with the country in spite of warnings by G7 nations. The United States has decided to maintain a hard stance against Russia, banning many leaders from the nation from entering their country because of the Crimea issue. The recent trip of Naryshkin to Tokyo has brought concerns to the U.S.
Yoshihide Suga, the Chief Cabinet Secretary, was quick to defend the move, saying it has been set before the annexation of Crimea came about. He also described the summit as purely cultural, hence posing no complication on Japan’s stance as a G7 nation. Suga assured the public that the meeting was nonpolitical in nature and went on to announce that there are no plans for Naryshkin to talk with any member of the Japanese government officially.
[via Asahi Shimbun]
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