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Vladimir Putin in Japan: Turning the Page on World War II

Vladimir Putin in Japan
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin paid a visit to Japan this week in a sincere effort to strengthen relations and move past the lingering World War II dispute which has hitherto obstructed this.

What Tokyo calls the “Kuril Islands dispute” has remained an impediment to the development of robust and pragmatic relations, but the excellent chemistry between President Putin and Premier Abe shows that both leaders are serious about beginning the process to finally overcome it. While it’s premature to speak about a political deal at this point, the same can’t be said about economic and investment agreements, of which both parties are eager to conclude. As Russia rebalances its foreign policy priorities by reaching out to Japan, Tokyo is doing something similar through its reciprocal diplomacy with Moscow, showing that both Great Powers are ready to explore an unprecedented partnership with one another.

To discuss relations between Moscow and Tokyo we are joined by Max Suchkov, Editor of Al-Monitor’s Russia-Mideast coverage as well as an expert of the Russian International Affairs Council (studio guest), Yasuhisa Kawamura, Press Secretary of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and Alexander Panov, Russia’s former Ambassador to Japan.

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