• Fri
  • Nov 28, 2014
  • Updated: 6:17pm

Moscow rejects Beijing's offer to co-operate on separate territorial disputes with Tokyo

Russia sees no need for Chinese involvement in its own territorial negotiations with Japan

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 February, 2014, 3:41am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 February, 2014, 3:27pm

Russia has rejected a Chinese offer to co-operate on their separate territorial rows with Japan, a report said yesterday, as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prepared to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi.

Beijing said it would support Moscow in its decades-old dispute over the sovereignty of islands to the north of Japan in exchange for backing in its row about the ownership of an East China Sea archipelago, the Mainichi Shimbun reported.

The offer had been made repeatedly since 2010, the paper said, citing diplomatic sources in Russia and Japan, but had always been brushed off.

The report came just ahead of President Xi Jinping and Abe's respective summits with Putin on the sidelines of the Winter Olympics' opening.

Xinhua reported that during their meeting yesterday, Xi and Putin exchanged views on bilateral cooperation in large projects and exchanges, and on major global and regional issues .

Xi arrived in Sochi yesterday. The three-day visit is his first foreign trip this year. This is Xi's third trip to Russia since he has been named president in last March.

Meanwhile, Abe is expected to discuss with Putin over the Russia-controlled Southern Kurils, which Japan claims as the Northern Territories.

Soviet troops annexed the islands, some just kilometres off the coast of Hokkaido island, in the final days of the second world war, evicting several hundred Japanese who lived there at the time. The issue has prevented the signing of a formal peace treaty between the two countries.

But an increasingly close working relationship between Abe and Putin, who have already held four summits since the Japanese prime minister took office in December 2012, has offered hope of progress, although Tokyo said it was unlikely to be settled in the near future.

"We are not overly optimistic about negotiations on the territorial issue," a foreign ministry official said. "So far, President Putin has been consistent [in asserting Russian ownership] … which is not at all acceptable for us."

Tensions between Beijing and Tokyo remain high, with coastguards from both sides engaged in stand-offs near the Diaoyu Islands, which Japan runs and calls the Senkakus.

The Japanese foreign ministry official said he was not aware of any co-operation between Moscow and Beijing.

"Russia takes a position that the issue should be resolved between Japan and China. I don't believe Russia agrees with China's position," he added.


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This article is now closed to comments

It would seem that this report is perhaps something that Japan manufactured. One doubts if China approached Russia in the manner proposed.
Russia and China do seem to be coming closer, and Japan is perhaps trying to create a perception that it is otherwise. One report on improving China-Russia relations may be seen here:
China backs Russia over Ukraine, at: ****blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/2014/02/07/china-backs-russia-over-ukraine/
And win it.
Russia will eventually make a deal with both Japan and the US.
China cannot depend on Russia as an "ally."
Russia will leave China out to dry.
And lose it.
Well Japan will not get Kurils from Russia, no matter what anyway. The Russian leaders already solid on this matter.
I suppose if Beijing wants to let their military to station on that area, then i can understand why Russia reject this offer.
China, it's Japans. Get over it.
China is going to start the next Pacific War.
BJ is so childish, these out of date stupid confucius thinking!!!
The Japanese have a pretty good claim to the islands disputed with Russia. What they haven't done is to send planes and ships into the area to assert that claim, probably on the theory that time and charm will eventually do the trick and that scratching the "scab" isn't likely to get them to where they want to go.


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