Relations between Russia and Japan have never been so bad since World War II. Throughout the Cold War, tensions between the two countries were high. Even so, multiple simultaneous expulsions and counter-expulsions from embassies of the two countries have not been seen as frequently as they are now.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Japan has taken a hard line against Moscow since the start of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine. In addition to economic sanctions, the country has announced the seizure of assets of Russia’s leading figures. At the same time, Tokyo excluded Russia from the list of the most privileged countries in terms of trade and trade.
Japan has banned all imports from Russia, except for essential fuels such as oil, gas and coal. Various Japanese businesses that have invested in Russia have already withdrawn from the country. Local offices and factories of various Japanese companies in the country have been closed.
Russia has also hit back. The United States and the European Union, as well as Japan, have been listed as unfriendly states. Moscow says these countries will now have to pay in Russian rubles if they want to buy any goods from Russia.
The Moscow government is well aware that despite the sanctions, Russia still has some products that others will be forced to buy. Since Japan is on the list of friendly countries, they also have to pay in rubles.
Russia has also stopped ongoing talks with Japan over territorial disputes. The country says a permanent settlement has already been reached on the island’s ownership. In other words, Moscow wants to send a message to Tokyo that the four islands near Hokkaido are part of Russian territory. They will not discuss the matter with Japan.
Not only that. This week, Moscow warned that Russia would not shy away from taking military action if Japan and the United States became involved in “provocative” activities in the name of conducting military exercises near the four islands.
This message from Japan to stop negotiations on territorial disputes is not easy to accept. Since the restoration of diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union in 1956, after World War II, Tokyo has continued to negotiate with Moscow over the islands.
Although those talks were not fruitful, the way was open for the two countries to reach a compromise in the future. For the first time, that road is going to be closed. This means finding a solution only through war. But it would not be desirable for either Japan or Russia to set foot on that dangerous path.
Amid rising tensions between the two countries, the Japanese government announced earlier this month the expulsion of eight Russian diplomats and trade officials. According to Tokyo’s decision, eight Russian officials have already left Japan.
Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement that Moscow would respond in time if Japan’s decision to expel the officials came to light. In line with that announcement, the Russian Foreign Ministry decided on Wednesday to expel eight Japanese diplomats.
According to the ministry, the eight deported Japanese officials will have to leave Russia by the 10th of next month. Through all this, the game of reciprocal expulsion of Japan and Russia has become quite frozen.
Following Russia’s retaliation, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Moscow’s decision was “unacceptable”. At the same time, he strongly protested the decision. However, he did not say whether Japan would disobey Moscow’s decision.
Russia’s commentary on Tokyo’s Mayakanna on Ukraine and its consequent view of Russia as an enemy is utterly unreasonable on the part of Japan. The country is bringing its own loss to please its western allies.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plans to visit three Southeast Asian countries early next month. The countries are Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. Apart from economic issues, he will discuss the Ukraine issue and the need to join the anti-Russian alliance.
Around the same time, Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi will also visit Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Mongolia for similar purposes. Moscow has been monitoring the activities of Japan’s top leaders.
On the other hand, Sino-Japanese relations have reached a tipping point centering on the Taiwan issue. This suggests that tensions in East Asia may increase in the future. And with this opportunity, arms dealers will become more active.