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Abe snubs Obama over Russia visit

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has snubbed an appeal by U.S. President Barack Obama, who asked that he not visit Russia in May, sources close to Japan-Russia relations said Tuesday.

Obama made the appeal by phone on Feb. 9, but Abe rejected it and will press ahead as planned with a visit to the Russian city of Sochi for talks with President Vladimir Putin, likely in early May, the sources said.

Obama delivered the appeal in a conversation primarily about cooperation between Tokyo and Washington over North Korea’s launch of a rocket two days earlier. The Foreign Ministry has not publicly revealed what the two leaders discussed regarding Abe’s trip to Russia.

The sources quoted Obama as urging Abe to postpone the trip, citing Russia’s differences with the United States over its actions in Ukraine and Syria.

Abe is keen to settle a long-standing dispute over islands off Hokkaido seized by the Soviet Union after Japan’s surrender in World War II. The matter has prevented Moscow and Tokyo from signing a peace treaty.

The islands are Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan and the Habomai group of islets, although Russia knows them by other names and refers to them as the southern Kurils.

“Prime Minister Abe is planning an unofficial visit to Russia at an appropriate time before (Russian President Vladimir Putin) visits Japan,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a news conference Wednesday.

Political observers say Japan has been careful to maintain a delicate balancing act between Russia and its ally the United States while pushing to end the isles dispute.

  • Testerty

    Didn’t Putin said there will not be a meeting for this private visit by Abe to Russia?

  • Patrick Wilson

    eyeing.

  • Ostap Bender

    Who is Obama to decide who leaders of sovereign countries can meet? Why can’t Americans mind their own business?

    • troy trollslayer

      said the Russian invader.

    • koedo

      It was a request between international partners. No one was telling the other what to do as is clearly evident by Abe’s decision. It was a request.

    • Kevin

      Um, it’s called ‘diplomacy’. It’s how the world works, nothing to do with ‘deciding’ what anyone can or can’t do.

    • Ser Korz

      Obama? His queen…..ah? I mean monarch of all; Of all one could be.

  • Liars N. Fools

    Why doesn’t this Abe fellow obey? It’s for his own good. America always knows best especially under Bush and Obama. President Trump will set Abe straight.

  • zer0_0zor0

    Abe is in for disappointment unless he is willing to make serious concessions on the status of the Diaoyu/Senkakus and recognize the Russian annexation of Crimea. There are too many geopolitical considerations at stake for Putin to do anything in a falsely constrained regional basis that would undermine the geopolitical status quo.

    Abe could bring about a significant easing of tensions in the South China Sea by recognizing the similarities to the various territorial disputes and initiating a give-and-take that could have substantial ramifications if China were to agree to concessions in the shoals/reefs near the Philippines, etc. I think that Putin might be willing to work with Abe regarding the Kurils/Northern Territories in that context. The USA would be opposed to anything along those lines though, reducing tensions in the region, etc.

    Somehow I don’t think that is going to happen…

    • Alexander Pioneer One

      Are you from a parallel universe?

    • Alexander Pioneer One

      Are you from a parallel universe?

    • Alexander Pioneer One

      Are you from a parallel universe?

    • koedo

      “There are too many geopolitical considerations at stake for Putin to do anything in a falsely constrained regional basis that would undermine the geopolitical status quo.”
      __________
      Have you been paying attention to Putin’s actions over the last few years? Apparently not.

    • Reyter

      What gives you the idea Putin gives a **** about whether Japan recognizes the liberation of Crimea or not?

  • Alexander Pioneer One

    Who takes Japan seriously? Just another Murican puppet. Abe and Putin know this fact.

  • Alexander Pioneer One

    Who takes Japan seriously? Just another Murican puppet. Abe and Putin know this fact.

  • Bec

    Another step forward by Abe, Japan needs to have a strong military and diplomacy to handle a complex and changing world!

  • Anto James

    it is a big mistake,if Japan never settle the disputes with russia.because china and russia are strong allies and a “china-russia” union against japan is capable to destroy japan completely within a few hours itself.even the entire world will not be a match to china-russia alliance,if a war occurs.

  • The Baron

    Excellent. Japan needs to do much more of this: stand up to Amerikan arrogance, realize that Amerika is controlled by insane Zionists with a monstrous “New World Order” world domination agenda that would totally destroy Japan (along with Russia, Iran and any other nation that doesn’t allow itself to be raped), and that it has natural allies in Russia and India.

    The days of Pax Zio-Amerikana and its evil New World Order are over!