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The Yomiuri Shimbun: Talks mark new era in Japan-Russia relations

Monday 29 January 2007

The first strategic dialogue between Japanese and Russian vice foreign ministers was held last week in Moscow based on an agreement reached last year between the two nations’ foreign ministers

Will it be a new start for Japan-Russia relations that have been somewhat stagnant recently?

It is important not only to continue the strategic dialogue, but also to upgrade it to the foreign ministerial level and then to the summit level.

Japan’s policy toward Russia faces drastic changes in the security environment.

Russia had suffered from economic disruption and stagnation after the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. But its economy is booming today thanks to abundant crude oil and natural gas resources as leveraged by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Moscow is now confident about its position and is developing aggressive diplomacy based on its energy resources.

For example, Russia’s state-owned gas monopoly OAO Gazprom has recently taken control of Sakhalin Energy Investment Co., operator of the Sakhalin-2 natural gas development project, from foreign investors including Japanese companies.

From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 29, 2007) and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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