Japan-Russia: Toward a Strategic Partnership?
Russie.Nei.VIsions No. 72, September 2013
Do the peace talks between Japan and Russia, reopened in March 2013 by Shinzo Abe and Vladimir Putin, have any chance of success? A window of opportunity has indeed opened for an historic rapprochement between Russia and Japan. The two countries have converging strategies and interests with regard to the key issues surrounding energy cooperation and the balance of power in Asia. Tokyo sees Moscow as a key player in its post-Fukushima energy policy, while Japan is an essential partner for the development and integration of Russia's Far East. In addition, the two countries share concerns over the increasing power of China, which could threaten the multipolarity of the region. By forging closer ties, Moscow and Tokyo can diversify their diplomatic relations and provide a counterweight to Beijing. In this new geopolitical climate, strengthening of shared strategic interests should enable the territorial issue to be relegated to a position of secondary importance.
This paper is the product of cooperation between the Russia/NIS Center and the Center for Asian Studies, Ifri.
Céline Pajon has been a Research Fellow at the Institut Français des Relations Internationales (French Institute for International Relations, Ifri) Center for Asian Studies, and an international Research Fellow at the Canon Institute for Global Studies (CIGS).