May 30, 2022
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Abe admits that the Russian people did not allow the surrender of the Kuriles

And calls to support Ukraine in order to resist the special operation of Russia

Although former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has left the reins of Japan for nearly two years, he remains a powerful political figure, head of the largest faction in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. This allows him to participate in the development, and even determine the decisions of the government. It was even rumored that Abe, who set a record for the term of tenure as prime minister, was in no hurry to end his career and, perhaps, was hatching plans to return to the political Olympus again. Of course, these are just rumors…

Not only Japanese, but also foreign media retain interest in Abe. One example is his long magazine interview Economistwhich touches upon the issues of Japan’s relations with our country.

Editors Economist in an interview they could not avoid the topic of the “territorial dispute” with Moscow. Abe, when he was prime minister, declared “solving the problem of the northern territories”, that is, the “return” of the Russian Kuril Islands, one of the priority goals of his policy. The Japanese are still blaming him for the fact that he “trusted Putin” and overestimated his ability to convince the latter to give up the islands in exchange for Japanese economic and financial assistance to Russia.

Hence the question Economist: “You regret that you have wasted so much political capital and time on Putin?

Answer: “I don’t regret it at all. I have always assumed that we must reduce the threat to our country in the north and strengthen our forces in the southwest. I considered it my duty to conclude a peace treaty with Russia and negotiate with her in order to solve the problem of the four northern islands. Now the overwhelming majority of Russians oppose the return of the northern territories of Japan. In this situation, it would be difficult for the Russian leader to resolve the territorial issue without a solid base of power in the country. I thought Putin was the right person for the job. And I thought he understood the benefits of a peace treaty with Japan in the medium and long term.

We reached agreements in Singapore and then further progress was made at the meeting in Buenos Aires. But, unfortunately, even Putin does not have absolute power, and even he cannot decide everything alone. I believe he hesitated in the face of strong opposition. Almost everyone in Russia, except for himself, was against a peace treaty and against continuing negotiations to resolve the territorial issue. It is possible that his position also turned out to be related to the then drop in his approval rating.”

That is, Abe admits that in the situation of the Russian people’s rejection of territorial concessions that are detrimental to our country, Putin could not go against public opinion. This was also manifested in the adoption of amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, when the president agreed to include in the country’s basic law a provision prohibiting the alienation of Russian territories.

Not without interest is Abe’s answer to the question of how to deal with Putin now, in the situation of military operations in Ukraine and the aggravation of Russia’s relations with the “collective West”. Economist: “You met with Vladimir Putin 27 times. How would you advise to behave With Putin now?

Abe: “I don’t think there are many options left in the current situation. There are many ways to analyze Putin’s personality, but I think that, first of all, he is a person who believes in strength and at the same time is a realist. He is not a politician who makes sacrifices for the sake of some ideas.

Prior to the raid, when Russian troops were just encircling Ukraine, hostilities could probably have been avoided if Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky could be forced to promise that his country would not join NATO, or forced to grant a high degree of autonomy to two enclaves in the east. I understand that this was difficult to do. Perhaps an American leader could do this. But, Zelensky, of course, would refuse.

However, in the current situation, in my opinion, the only way forward is to support Ukraine and strongly oppose the Russian special operation. This is a way to protect the international order that we created after the end of World War II.”

That is, Abe agrees with the active participation of Japan in the introduction of “hellish sanctions” against Russia in order to weaken its economy, as well as with the saturation of Ukraine with heavy weapons. And here Abe, I think, is not prevaricating, declaring that he is a supporter of preserving “the order that we have created.” That is, the order in which Russia should be returned to the state of the 90s, that is, again reduced to the position of a semi-colony supplying the “golden billion” with natural resources.

This was followed by questions about how the Russian special operation in Ukraine affected Japan and how this is changing public opinion on national security issues.

Abe responded by criticizing Russia for “aggression” not sanctioned by the UN. But at the same time, there was not a word about the unprovoked US invasion of Iraq with the aim of subjugating it, which did not have a UN mandate, or about the organization of “color revolutions” by the Americans with the support of Western allies in recent years. That is, “what is allowed to Jupiter is not allowed to the bull.” Some can afford what others are forbidden.

So Abe stigmatizes Russia. And at the same time, the UN Security Council, membership in which Tokyo has been seeking for many years. He says: “I believe that the impact of the Russian special operation on Japan and the Japanese was very significant. First of all, it should be emphasized that the current reality is that the United Nations Security Council is not functioning. After all, the country you mentioned is a permanent member of the Council. Prior to this, the prevailing idea in Japan was that the UN should use its authority and work to prevent such conflicts or resolve them after they have occurred.”

Let us ask Abe-san: “Why did Japan not oppose the illegal occupation of Iraq, but, on the contrary, sent to this country the largest contingent of the Japanese Armed Forces after the Second World War – land, naval and air units?”

A staunch supporter of abandoning constitutional restrictions on the buildup of the Japanese military, the former prime minister justifies the Japanese government’s intention to start by doubling military spending to 2% of GDP, or about $100 billion. Abe lists the needs of the Japanese army, which is being transformed into one of the most powerful in the world: “Firstly, we do not have enough funds for ammunition, ranging from cartridges for machine guns to missiles for anti-aircraft missile systems such as SM-3 and PAC3. The budget for the maintenance of our self-defense forces is also completely insufficient. For example, plans to renovate the barracks or housing for the force’s personnel have been delayed for a long time, so these buildings are pretty worn out. This is a big negative factor in terms of attracting personnel to our armed forces. In addition, we have active contracts for the purchase of various military equipment, including F-35 fighter jets. I believe that it is necessary for us to receive already contracted parties as soon as possible. At the same time, we must significantly increase spending on military research and development in order to advance technological innovation in new areas such as cyberspace, space, and electropulse weapons.”

Abe does not hide the plans of the Japanese ruling circles to recreate the military-industrial complex, seeing this as a means of overcoming the recession in the economy. “I believe that an increase in the (military) budget for these areas will help Japan’s economic growth. America’s defense budget is over $800 billion. These investments are one of the growth drivers for the American economy,” – says the Japanese politician.

The interviewers could not ignore Abe’s proposals, which made a splash about the joint use of nuclear weapons with the Americans. To which the response was received: “To be precise, I did not say that Japan should begin joint use of nuclear weapons with the American forces. The fact is that many Japanese, including politicians, are unaware that NATO already has such a program for the joint use of nuclear weapons. Countries such as Germany, Belgium, Italy, and the Netherlands enforce a deterrence policy by hosting nuclear weapons in their countries and allowing their armed forces to use them. I just meant that discussing this reality should not be taboo.”

As is known, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, a native of Hiroshima, rejected the possibility of joint use of US nuclear weapons as contrary to the country’s three nuclear-free principles. Although the reference to non-nuclear principles is unconvincing, because there are known secret agreements between the Japanese government and the United States on the violation of one of these principles, namely, the importation of American nuclear weapons into the territory and water area of ​​Japan. So Abe simply proposes to legalize a long-standing practice …

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