Japan will again raise the issue of the Kuril

Japan will again raise the issue of the Kuril


The delegation of the Federation Council headed by the speaker Valentina Matvienko will visit Japan on the eve of the official visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin

Photo: TASS/Dmitry Feoktistov

​​​​​​​The Chairman of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko begins on 1 November the official visit to Japan, where he will hold meetings with heads of both chambers of Parliament, leaders of political parties, public representatives and business. Interviewed by “Izvestia” experts do not exclude that the main topic of the talks in Tokyo will be the preparation of the forthcoming visit to Japan by Russian President Vladimir Putin and the discussion of the territorial issue.

The forthcoming visit of the speaker of the Federation Council coincides with two significant events in the bilateral relations of Russia and Japan. In October of this year marked 60 years since the signing of the Soviet-Japanese joint Declaration of 1956, the document is restored diplomatic relations between the two countries. It is expected that in December an official visit to Japan will be visited by Vladimir Putin.

The meeting between the two leaders in Tokyo will be the third this year. The Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe visited Russia in may (he arrived in Sochi) and in September took part in the Eastern economic forum in Vladivostok. Following the meeting formulated the strategic program of development of relations between Russia and Japan.

Ahead of the visit Valentina Matvienko told “Izvestia” about the upcoming program. According to her, the parties rely on the productivity of inter-parliamentary cooperation.

– During the visit in Tokyo, we intend to continue the already established dialogue. We hope to expand and enrich our parliamentary cooperation both on bilateral level and on important international venues: the Asia-Pacific parliamentary forum, the inter-Parliamentary Union and other influential forums, – said Matvienko.

According to the speaker of the Federation Council, one of the most important topics during the negotiations will be the prospects for regional cooperation between the two countries.

– Many regions already have established relations with Japan, but the potential of such cooperation are much greater, – said Matvienko. – Is important in this regard will be a visit to Nagasaki Prefecture and meeting with her leadership.

In turn, Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on international Affairs Konstantin Kosachev has declared “news” that will also be discussed interregional cooperation and humanitarian Affairs.

– The program of the visit in the complex, in our opinion, allows to conduct a very serious analysis of the current state of bilateral relations and exchange ideas for their further development, – said the Senator, adding that Matviyenko intends to meet with the leadership of both chambers of the Japanese Parliament, leaders of major political parties as well as public circles, including businessmen, representatives of scientific and cultural spheres.

Former Russian Ambassador to Japan Alexander Panov believes that the meetings will be discussed bilateral inter-parliamentary exchanges, which is currently underdeveloped. According to experts, the Russian deputies and senators almost never interested in Japan, Japanese parliamentarians, in turn, rarely come to Russia, unlike, for example, from colleagues from China.

Parliamentary diplomacy is a very important element of interstate activity, – said Panov. – Maybe just visit Valentina Ivanovna (Matvienko – “Izvestia”) will help move this process forward.

Head of the center for Japanese studies, Institute of Far Eastern studies Valery Kistanov considers Matviyenko’s visit to Japan, one of the highlights of the upcoming visit to Tokyo by the Russian President.

– Of course it is important to develop parliamentary relations with Japan and the Federation Council and state Duma, but the main theme in this there is no doubt, will be Putin’s visit and the territorial issue, the expert stated “Izvestia”. – In the first place, the Japanese will try to “pull” Matvienko, the territorial topic: how does Russia, as the Russian parliamentarians conceive of a solution to this problem and the signing of a peace Treaty.

In turn, Konstantin Kosachev assured “Izvestia” that parliamentarians do not intend to “replace” the talks between the leaders of the two countries. However, taking into account the specifics of Russian-Japanese relations it becomes obvious that the Japanese side has consistently brings to the fore the so-called “territorial issue”.

– It is clear that no decisions will be wealthy, will not be able to withstand the test of time, if they will not be perceived by the public nor in Russia, nor in Japan – said Kosachev. – While the state of public opinion in our countries, I feel, are not ready to accept any compromise on the territorial issue.

To change the social climate of Russia and Japan should develop specific cooperation projects in economic, trade, scientific-technical, cultural, educational and other fields, said Kosachev.

A wide range of humanitarian issues relating to the health, welfare of citizens, tourism, negotiations in Japan, expects to raise, the Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on social policy Valery Ryazansky, also part of the delegation.

Are those issues where we can dialogue without strain and without painful concentration on political issues, he stressed.