Thursday, Mar 30 2017
All Cities
Choose Your City
'The few descriptions of Irkutsk had spoken of it as the Paris of Siberia'
Mrs John Clarence Lee, 1914

Boost for economy in Russian Far East from Japan, but no solution to Kuril Islands dispute

By The Siberian Times reporter
16 December 2016

Hot spring summit between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin can be start of 'win-win' relationship.

'It would be naive to think we can solve this problem in an hour.' Picture: Kremlin

The two leaders finalised 80 agreements on economic, cultural, science and sports cooperation, and talks will take place on joint economic development of the four islands over which Japan claims sovereignty.

As many as 68 of the deals are on commercial matters. 

However, Russia refused to budge on ceding the islands, the subject of a dispute which has prevented the signing of a peace treaty to formally end hostilities in the Second World War. 

Map


Kuril islands

Russia refused to budge on ceding the islands, the subject of a dispute which has prevented the signing of a peace treaty to formally end hostilities in the Second World War. Pictures: The Siberian Times, Ardexpert

'It would be naive to think we can solve this problem in an hour,' said Putin at a joint press conference with Abe. 'But it is undoubtedly necessary to look for a solution.'

Abe said: 'Concluding a peace treaty that has not been concluded in more than 70 years is not easy. I think we as the two leaders were able to show our sincere determination toward signing a peace treaty, although there lies a difficult path ahead.'

The improved economic relations are seen as paving the way for further discussions on the islands, although few analysts believe Putin will give up sovereignty, yet he said during his two day trip: 'I believe, from a long-term prospect, that we could achieve a historic resolution.'

'The issue won't be solved if each of us just make their own case,' said Abe.

Talks

'The issue won't be solved if each of us just make their own case.' Picture: Kremlin

'We need to make efforts toward a breakthrough so that we don't disappoint the next generation. We need to set aside the past and create a win-win solution for both of us.'

Putin made clear he believes that 'joint work in economic areas will help to establish the basis needed to move to a relationship of true partnership'. He agreed to work towards easier visits for older Japanese who used to live on the islands which are known in Tokyo as the Northern Territories. 

The two countries plan to cooperate on development of natural gas and coal infrastructure, nuclear energy, agriculture, medical services and other areas.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) will create a joint Russian-Japanese investment fund worth $1 billion, it was announced.

Kunashir


Kunashir


Iturup


Shikotan

The improved economic relations are seen as paving the way for further discussions on the islands, although few analysts believe Putin will give up sovereignty. Pictures: RusFort, lusika33, Alexey Kharitono, SdelanoUnas

RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev said the new fund will play a key role in financing joint Russian-Japanese investment projects in the spheres of infrastructure and agriculture, among others.

'We are currently discussing over 20 projects, the first of which we plan to implement in the coming six months,' he said. The aim is to pull around $10 billion into the Russian economy. 

The Russian president made clear the agreements with Japan will be important to the development of the Russian Far East.

'Russia and Japan haven't had very much economic cooperation,' said Putin. 'It is necessary to expand the potential of our economic ties.'

Measures to ease travel between the two countries for business visitors were also agreed. The summit began in the hot spring resort of Nagato before moving to Tokyo. 

Comments (4)

All disputes should be resolved amicably. Fed up of wars all over. Both Abe and Putin are darn smart leaders. The world expects a lot more from both. Japan and Russia and China have long term interests in the development of Asia. They should act in unison.
Zaman, Dhaka
21/12/2016 22:43
1
0
I still don't know why Putin came to Japan. He just came to Japan to collect some money?
Shinya Koizumi, Canada
18/12/2016 14:54
2
3
Putin says, I think we as the two leaders were able to show our sincere determination toward signing a peace treaty, although there lies a difficult path ahead.'


You see the word SINCERE in the above sentence, well as far as Vladimir is concerned that is the biggest lie because when did anyone ever see him being "Sincere"? Japan is being taken for a ride here...because there's going to be no deal at the end of this for the islands they (Japan) crave for. I don't see anything in that deal that will give Japan value in terms of cash. Maybe they're only looking for their islands back but they will never get them once Putin's in charge of Russia. I can see a quick D-I-V-O-R-C-E between these two.



PS. But I'll be very glad, if this is a (short term/long term) massive benefit to the Siberian economy.
Jaker, Dundalk
18/12/2016 05:04
1
1
It very positive news that Japan and Russia are going to intensify their cooperation. That is to the benefit of both Japan and Russia. Mr Putin is a brilliant politician.
William McLean, Copenhagen, Denmark
17/12/2016 18:35
4
0
1

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


News

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR61.53USD57.02GBP70.81Other...