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2015年6月29日 (月)

日露電話会談 G7合意踏まえた対話が重要

idioms and words in this news,
leave no stone unturned  八方手をつくす.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Vital for Japan to continue dialogue with Russia, based on G-7 agreement
日露電話会談 G7合意踏まえた対話が重要

It is vital that Japan continues to hold dialogue with Russia, and to firmly criticize it over the current situation in Ukraine.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone. Abe again invited Putin to visit Japan this year, and both leaders agreed to continue bilateral dialogue.

Abe called on Putin to play a constructive role toward the complete implementation of a ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine. It is quite natural that Japan is in step with other members of the Group of Seven advanced nations in refusing to accept Russia’s unilateral attempts to change the status quo in Ukraine.

This was the first conversation between Abe and Putin since they met in Beijing in November 2014. During their talks, the two leaders agreed Putin would visit Japan “at an appropriate time” before the end of this year.

The government will soon dispatch Shotaro Yachi, chief of the National Security Council’s secretariat, to Russia to help coordinate arrangements regarding the schedule for Putin’s visit and summit talks between Abe and Putin in third nations this autumn. A visit to Russia by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is also under consideration. We hope these opportunities for constructive exchanges of opinion at various levels will continue.

Abe has been navigating a tortuous path as he seeks to make progress in Japan-Russia relations in a bid to resolve the northern territories issue. Western nations have imposed a travel ban on Sergei Naryshkin, speaker of Russia’s lower house. But when Naryshkin visited Japan in May, Abe boldly pushed for a meeting and showed his stance of attaching great importance to improving Tokyo-Moscow ties.

In an interview with heads of foreign news agencies in mid-June, Putin said it is possible to resolve any problem and showed his willingness to hold a summit meeting with Abe.

Fishing ban a poke at Japan?

At a time when Russia’s economy is increasingly feeling the pinch due to economic sanctions imposed by the United States and European nations, taking steps that could invite deterioration in relations with Japan is not a smart policy for Putin.

It is unfortunate that both houses of the Russian Federal Assembly passed a bill that will ban drift-net fishing for salmon and trout from January within Russia’s exclusive economic zone, which extends for 200 nautical miles from that nation’s coast.

This ban will come into force if Putin signs it. If this happens, Japanese fishing boats will, in effect, become unable to operate in waters off the Chishima islands and some other areas.

It has been estimated that if this ban comes into effect, the economic impact on industries in eastern Hokkaido could reach up to ¥25 billion annually.  その場合、北海道東部の経済への影響額が年250億円に上るとの試算もある。

The government will need to leave no stone unturned as it devises countermeasures to minimize the impact of this blow.

Russia has justified the bill by saying it is intended to protect marine resources. However, the Japanese government has argued there are sufficient resources in these waters.

During his phone conversation with Putin, Abe called on the Russian side to give consideration “to what is a very alarming situation for fishermen in the region.” About four hours after this request, the bill was passed.

It is regrettable that Japan’s plea was not accepted.

Russia has extended for one year its ban on imports of agricultural products from the United States, the European Union and elsewhere, which it launched in response to sanctions that have been slapped on Moscow.

It seems to us that Russia might, under the guise of resource protection, be trying to shake Japan’s sanctions.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 28, 2015)


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