The unfortunate position of Japan in the peace treaty with Russia on the Kuril Islands

The unfortunate position of Japan in the peace treaty with Russia on the Kuril Islands

Shinzo Abe agrees to sign a peace treaty with Russia for only two islands instead of four.

The futility of their position on the Kuril Islands finally reached the ruling elite of Japan. The Kyodo news agency reported on the readiness of the country's prime minister to begin the procedure for negotiating and signing a peace treaty with Russia. True, subject to the guarantee of the transfer of Shikotan and Habomai to the Japanese state.

This is a breakthrough, at least for two reasons. First, just a couple of months ago, the land of the rising sun took the most tough «all or nothing” position. Secondly, the unrealistic receipt of Iturup and Kunashir. Of course, it is still possible to rest against it, even before the carrot blast, but now it is associated with a lot of money, frankly leaving «past the cash register”.

While Japan felt at ease in the domestic American consumer market, the Soviet Union and then Russia, which inherited from it, could offer little of what was commercially interesting. All the more naive it was to hope to replace America in terms of sales. This left a vast space for principled «on the issue of the Northern Territories”.

Now times have changed. The United States is gradually closing the border for Japanese exports. More precisely, customs barriers are introduced for everyone, especially for China, Japan falls under them just for the company. Theoretically, the conclusion of TPP was to form a new single retail space without internal barriers, but Trump withdrew the American signature from the contract. Now Japan, with all its strategic importance as a military partner of the United States in the western Pacific Ocean, hangs in the air, and following the rules initiated by American globalists, such as the Paris Protocol, created a problem in the foundation of national industrial power — energy.

Americans are not able to supply electricity physically, and the promised sea of cheap LNG remains to this day only in Trump’s comics and beautiful speeches. Whereas Moscow and the electric cable offer «to throw from the neighboring island” and the Gazprom LNG plant on Sakhalin is located, what is called, literally two steps away. And the prices there are very sweet.

And then the huge object of rapidly growing China gradually covers Fuji with a thick shadow. Even if Beijing does not begin to show the Japanese «for the Second World War” (and there are more than unpleasant reasons for it), it is actually threatening to close them completely on itself economically. Given its triple advantage in terms of GDP, and at the Celestial Empire it stably grows, and at the country of the rising sun it is also constantly decreasing, it is easy to calculate that it will end up with an economic absorption of the smaller one more. What please the Japanese ruling elite can not in any way.

Anyway, the outcome is the inevitability of the need to search for new political and economic unions that can support the Japanese economy and ensure its resilience to Chinese expansion. Options remains a bit. More precisely does not remain at all.

It is necessary to begin to be friends with Moscow, but on the way to this, the Northern Territories are turned, for many decades with media efforts turned into an extremely important question. And the recent scandal convincingly demonstrated the adequacy of the size of Russian indifference to Japanese problems.

We are in a position that without special problems we can save for another twenty or thirty years, at least. If not more. The total needs of all Far Eastern neighbors (China, both Koreas, Vietnam), even without Japan, significantly exceed our current foreign trade opportunities. Even with Russian plans for their active development. Thus, this is a seller's market, where the Japanese will have to stand in the general line. Or even to the side. And time is running out, visually worsening the Japanese geopolitical position in the region.

And if the war happens to China, then Washington definitely will not fit in with Tokyo, nor can it physically. To turn «the whole world, including myself, into dust” for the sake of preserving Japanese independence is not in the interests of the United States unequivocally. Russia in the same scenario will not stand up for Mikado either, but if there is enough mutual trade, she will be interested in preserving the well-being of an important business partner, interaction with which provides profit, promotes the development of Siberia and the Far East, and also balances China.

In a word, wherever you throw, the Japanese have a wedge everywhere. With principled on Kuriles need to tie. That, in fact, the Japanese prime minister has now demonstrated. Iturup and Kunashir are removed from the agenda. Consent to sign a peace treaty only in exchange for Shikotan and Habomai means the beginning of real trade and the recognition of the Russian bargaining position. Including, based on the inviolability of the outcome of the Second World War, that is, that all these islands are unconditionally ours.

Simply, after all the past, agreeing to fully all the Russian conditions for the Japanese means a critical loss of face, in real politics it is absolutely impossible. In some ways they look like us. In matters of principle, they choose nothing even at the cost of death. And this is good. The similarity of the worldview provides the possibility of normal contractual interaction even with very large external cultural differences.

So, we can agree. Yes, at the cost of two islands, who saw them on the map, rather insignificant compared with the prospect of concluding a final peace treaty. The main thing — the ice is broken. The rest is technical details.
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