Apr 24, 2022
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Japan can forever forget about the Kuriles. Even on tour

Photo: Japanese Parliament building

Photo: Japanese Parliament building (Photo: Naoki Nishimura/AFLO/Global Look Press)

The samurai are on the warpath. The upper house of the Japanese Parliament adopted a law defining sanctions measures against Russia in connection with a special operation in Ukraine. The whole country followed the work of the parliamentarians: the broadcast was live. However, the decision was expected: earlier this law was approved by the lower chamber.

The Land of the Rising Sun has already introduced several packages of sanctions against Russia. She excluded Russia from the most favored nation in trade. It also imposed a ban on the export to Russia of more than 300 goods, including semiconductors, radars, sensors, lasers and other equipment. The export of luxury cars and luxury goods was banned.

The distribution included veneer (last year it was delivered for 67 million dollars), pine wood and wood chips (for a million dollars), engine parts for ships and aircraft – for 41.5 million dollars, cars and motorcycles – for about a million dollars, beer – here the supplies were much more modest, Russia bailed out only 93 thousand dollars and vodka. It was delivered for 294 thousand dollars. A total of 38 items were included in the “black list”.

At the same time, anti-Russian sanctions will rebound on the Japanese themselves.

According to the Minister of Economy, Trade and Development of Japan Koichi Hagiudathere is a possibility that anti-Russian sanctions will negatively affect the business and daily life of the country’s citizens.

Here is an example: Japan has excluded Russia from the number of countries that are subject to the most favored nation treatment. This means that customs tariffs on Russian imports will be increased by the end of March next year. Now let’s estimate how much customs duties will increase on the most popular seafood imported into the Land of the Rising Sun from Russia. Offhand, duties on crab meat will increase from 4% to 6%, on sea urchins – from 7% to 10%, on salmon – from 3.5% to 5%. And this will lead to an increase in prices on store shelves.

True, for liquefied natural gas and coal supplied from Russia, tariffs will remain zero, because they were such even before the most favored nation treatment began to operate in relation to the Russian Federation. That is, gas and coal are sacred, they cannot be touched. However, the Japanese are not original in this. The same Europe, although it no longer knows what other sanctions to come up with, is also extremely careful in matters relating to energy resources.

True, the Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida promised to reduce dependence on Russia’s energy resources, in particular, to gradually reduce coal imports, but, as they say, promising does not mean getting married.

By the way, Japan imposes sanctions against Russia, equaling the Europeans. At recent talks in Tokyo, Kishida and the President of Switzerland, head of the federal department of foreign del Ignazio Cassis agreed to continue the sanctions policy against Russia.

“There is an urgent need for the unity of the world community as never before. I want to develop an approach to this issue in close cooperation with Switzerland, which is our important partner,” Fumido Kishida was quoted as saying by the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

But Switzerland has neither a common border with Russia, nor disputed territories.

Russian netizens reacted to the news that the samurai were actively involved in the sanctions race with a fair amount of sarcasm:

“The eyes of the Japanese will become round when they realize that the sanctions have harmed themselves more than Russia!”

“Seriously, it’s certainly not Japan with its ridiculous resources to raise its tail on Russia. And Tokyo’s stupid behavior demonstrates a complete lack of sovereignty.”

“Hearing the plaintive groans of his German and French colleagues, the Japanese Minister of Economics began to be tormented by vague doubts that with these sanctions, things are not quite the way these colleagues promised him.”

“Japanese comrades! Of course, I understand that you have not been a sovereign country since 1945, but you yourself made the decision on sanctions, so you are responsible for this, ”the Japanese news from the sanctions front is commenting something like this.

– In fact, Japan has declared economic war on Russia, – believes Valery Kistanov, Head of the Japan Research Center of the Institute of the Far East of the Russian Academy of Sciences. – If you take the economy, it will lead to a decline in trade. There will be no investment. Financial ties will also be severed…

The Japanese even went for a phased reduction in coal imports, and in fact Russia supplies 13% of the coal they consume. Liquefied gas has not yet been touched, this is understandable, they have a very problematic situation with energy. But restrictions on the import and export of goods are already quite severe.

joint venture»: And what will anti-Russian sanctions lead to in politics?

– Here our relationship is put “in the refrigerator.” This term very accurately reflects the current state of affairs. Not only did they adopt a law on depriving Russia of favorable treatment, they also expelled eight Russian diplomats. This was not even the case during the Cold War.

In response to these harsh measures, we also took appropriate steps: we withdrew from negotiations on a peace treaty and on joint economic activities on the disputed islands. And canceled visa-free travel to the Kuriles. These problems will now be in limbo with a very, very distant prospect of a solution. Their future is shrouded in fog.

In general, Russian-Japanese relations can now be called very bad. And in order for them to begin to normalize, it is necessary that, for a start, the special operation in Ukraine be completed and the passions around it calm down. In the meantime, Japan, biting the bit, is running ahead of the locomotive, that is, the collective West. She volunteered to supply Kyiv with drones, chemical protection equipment. This is a clear increase in the degree of escalation. So, in the foreseeable future, nothing good will shine for us in relations with Japan.

The expert noted that Japan is not always independent in its decisions. On the one hand, she is under strong pressure from the United States: as a junior ally, she is obliged to do what she is told. Washington instructed to throw oil reserves on the market in order to reduce its cost – Japan did just that. Although it does not have its own oil, it imports 100%! And he coordinates his actions with the Big Seven.

On the other hand, negotiations on a peace treaty, on the status of the disputed islands, reached an impasse even before the start of the special operation. Russia has hardened its position, Japan too. Illusions that I harbored Abe (the former Prime Minister of Japan, who hoped that the peace treaty could still be signed), disappeared. And this is how Japan is now retaliating for lost illusions and disappointments.

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