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Japan and Russia: Contemporary Political, Economic, and Military Relations Part Three

Japan and Russia: Contemporary Political, Economic, and Military Relations Part Three

Japan and Russia: Contemporary Political, Economic, and Military Relations
Speaker: James D. J. Brown, Associate Professor of Political Science at Temple University, Japan Campus
Presentation: Japan-Russia Joint Economic Projects on the Disputed Islands: What are they good for?

Japan and Russia: Contemporary Political, Economic, and Military Relations
Speaker: James D. J. Brown, Associate Professor of Political Science at Temple University, Japan Campus
Presentation: Japan-Russia Joint Economic Projects on the Disputed Islands: What are they good for?

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Japan and Russia: Contemporary Political, Economic, and Military Relations Part Three

  1. 1. JAPAN-RUSSIA JOINT ECONOMIC PROJECTS ON THE DISPUTED ISLANDS: WHAT ARE THEY GOOD FOR? James D.J. Brown Temple University, Japan Campus 17 Oct 2019
  2. 2. ABE’S APPARENT PLAN FOR TWO ISLANDS PLUS JOINT ECONOMIC PROJECTS • Two islands: – Agreement in Singapore in November 2018 to advance talks based on the 1956 Japan-Soviet Joint Declaration • “1956年宣言を基礎として平和条 約交渉を加速させる。そのことを プーチン大統領と合意した。” • Joint economic projects – Agreement in Nagato in December 2016 “to commence discussions on a special arrangement [“特別な制度”] for undertaking joint economic activity on the four islands”
  3. 3. JOINT ECONOMIC PROJECTS • Proposed contents (Sept 2017): – (1) Project of propagation and aquaculture of marine products – (2) Greenhouse vegetable cultivation project – (3) Development of tours based on the islands’ features – (4) Introduction of wind-power generation – (5) Garbage volume reduction measures • Joint survey visits: – June 2017, October 2017, Oct. 2018
  4. 4. LEGAL OBSTACLES • Questions of legal jurisdiction, customs, sanitary and phytosanitary standards etc. • Questions of the visa-free framework to permit Japanese to travel to the islands for economic purposes. • Narrowing of the initial joint econ projects to waste management and tourism: – Agreement in Osaka in June 2019 to conduct pilot projects by end of 2019
  5. 5. PILOT PROJECTS • Reciprocal visits by waste management experts – Visit by Russian officials to Nemuro in Aug. – Japanese officials visited Kunashir in Sept. • Pilot trip to the disputed islands for Japanese tourists – Initially scheduled for 9-16 Oct but postponed at last minute by the Russian side. – Possibly to be rescheduled for 27 Oct to 3 Nov. • Approx. 50 Japanese tourists and officials, paying ¥340,000 each. • Visit to include 2 days in NE Hokkaido, then trip by boat to Kunashir and Iturup, where the tourists will visit an Orthodox church, museum, and hot springs.
  6. 6. PROBLEMS • The legal questions have not been resolved – Lavrov: “We cannot agree to introduction on our territory of a jurisdiction that is not based on Russian law.” (Aug. 2019) – The pilot tourism trip is being conducted under the humanitarian visa-free framework as a one-off. – Japanese mistake to proceed with discussing the contents of the projects before the legal framework was agreed. • The benefits to the community in NE Hokkaido are not apparent. • Japan appears to have miscalculated the enthusiasm of local Russians for Japanese projects on the islands. • Russia is proceeding to develop the islands without Japan. – Opening of Russia’s largest fish-processing plant on Shikotan in Sept 2019
  7. 7. WHAT ARE THEY GOOD FOR?

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