#AceGuestNews WASHINGTON May 04 RT Exclusive Most important…

#AceGuestNews – WASHINGTON – – May 04 – (RT Exclusive) – Most important lesson for Japan from Obama’s trip: Improve ties with Russia. Japan can do this by cozying up to Russia and South Korea while redoubling its efforts and pace in further deepening ties with India.

This is the important fine print one can read in the President Barack Obama’s recently concluded visit to Japan, the first state visit by an American president to Japan in 18 years.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is a shrewd politician who has the will and the capability to restore his country to its pristine glory. He should separate the chaff from the wheat in what Obama said and did not say during his trip to Tokyo.

Nothing bothers the Japanese political leadership more than the question: how to deal with China? Japan can take a cue from India in this context. India has been handling China much better than any other country.

The Indian mantra is this: engage with China on all issues, including the contentious ones, while giving fillip to bilateral trade and people-to-people contacts.

If political leaders and the people of Japan thought that Obama would say comforting words to Japan at the cost of China, and that the US alone is capable of safeguarding their interests vis-a-vis China, then they were mistaken. Nothing of the sort happened.

From the Japanese perspective, the core issue in Abe-Obama talks was the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands dispute between Japan and China. It must have been music to Japanese ears when Obama reaffirmed his support for Japan over the disputed islands, and remarked that the islands fell under a security treaty that commits the US to act if Japan is attacked.

But wait! Obama did not come up with anything new here. And he did not stop here. Sample his remarks that followed soon thereafter.

“I’ve said directly to (Abe) that it would be a profound mistake to continue to see escalation around this issue rather than dialogue and confidence-building measures between Japan and China.”
“In our discussions, I emphasized with Prime Minister Abe the importance of resolving this issue peacefully … Not escalating the situation, keeping the rhetoric low, not taking provocative actions, and trying to determine how both Japan and China can work cooperatively together.”
Obama also called upon Japan and China to take “confidence-building measures” and significantly added: “We have strong relations with China.”

This should have punctured Japan’s ballooning hopes. Japan may well be justified in keeping up a brave front as is evident from this quote Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga made at a separate press conference after Abe-Obama talks: “Perhaps you should read his (Obama’s) comments more honestly. The president clearly said Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty applied to the islands. The comments are no more or no less than that.”

But then in their heart of hearts they must be feeling that something is terribly amiss. The US security umbrella over Japan is losing its sheen with the rapid rise in China’s military and economic might. This trend is likely to accelerate in the coming years.

The moral of the story from Obama’s trip to Japan is as follows: America is a great friend of Japan but China too cannot be ignored and it is not a zero sum game.

Gone are the days when the US would take a maximalist position with a friend like Japan and a minimalist position with a strong competitor like China. These are the days of economic diplomacy. Gunboat diplomacy has been relegated to the fringe.

Therefore, against this backdrop, Japan needs to think out of the box and explore newer foreign policy options.

Mending relations with Russia should now be a top priority for Tokyo. In a way, Abe is already walking down this road. Abe paid a visit to Moscow on 29-30 April, 2013, the first visit by a Japanese premier to Russia in over a decade.

Indeed Abe has invested a lot of political capital in improving ties with Russia since taking over in December 2012 and has met Russian President Vladimir Putin five times.

It is a win-win situation for both Russia and Japan to get closer. Stung by the Western sanctions over Ukraine, Russia has already stated that it would be tapping new business and investment opportunities elsewhere, particularly Asia. Japan is a vast market for Russian oil and gas.

Japan should sew up as many trade pacts with Russia as soon as possible and strike a political deal with Russia over territorial disputes.

South Korea is a bit more difficult for Japan to handle, considering the historical baggage. But if rough edges with Russia are smoothed out, South Korea should be a doable diplomatic mission for Japan to handle.

Japan’s relations with India are already free of any disputes. So is the case between India and Russia and India and South Korea. If Japan and Russia are able to forge closer bonds, it will be a strategic game-changer in the Asian matrix.

The China factor will not be such a great worry for Japan then.

Courtesy of the writer who is a New Delhi-based columnist and a strategic analyst who tweets @Kishkindha.

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#AceWorldNews TOKYO April 24 Japan and the United…

#AceWorldNews – TOKYO – April 24 – Japan and the United States have reaffirmed the inadmissibility of the use of force in Ukraine for changing the status quo, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said after talks with US President Barack Obama on Thursday.

Abe said he and Obama agreed the two allies would not tolerate any attempt to alter the status quo by force or coercion. Abe added that the parties affirmed “the importance of assistance to the Ukrainian side”.

Obama for his part stressed that during the talks the sides held a very substantive dialogue on the situation in Ukraine.

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` Japan hails the Summit Meeting between Shinzo Abe and Park Geun-hye and Brokered by Obama as chance to build a Rapport ‘

#AceWorldNews – HAGUE – March 25 – Japan on Wednesday hailed the first summit between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye as a chance to build a rapport after more than a year of back-biting, AFP said.

The talks in The Hague were hosted by US President Barack Obama, as Washington is increasingly frustrated by tensions between its two major Asian allies.

South Korean media said Park appeared unimpressed by Abe’s attempts to speak Korean during a photo opportunity, and Seoul has yet to make an official statement about the meeting itself.

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` Tokyo suggests it would allow US to bring ` Nuclear Weapon’s’ into Japanese Territory in Event of Serious Security Threat ‘

#AceWorldNews – TOKYO – Tokyo has been suggested that it would allow the US to bring nuclear weapons into Japanese territory in the event of a serious threat to its security.

In a briefing with lawmakers, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida outlined conditions that would lead Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government to make exceptions to Japan’s long-standing posture against possessing, producing, or allowing nuclear weapons within the nation’s borders, Kyodo News reported.

Kishida said the Abe administration adheres to the policy of its predecessor: Whether or not Japan would “adamantly observe the (non-nuclear) principles despite threats to people’s safety depends on the decision of the administration in power.”

“The future cannot be determined in advance,” Kishida said, echoing comments by former Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada of the current opposition Democratic Party of Japan. In 2010, Okada disclosed that Japan and the US had agreements during the Cold War era in which Tokyo would allow the US to bring nuclear-armed submarines into Japanese ports in an apparent violation of the non-nuclear policy.

The agreement expired in the early 1990’s, upon the end of the Cold War.

Abe said last month it was a “mistake” that previous administrations led by his Liberal Democratic Party avoided acknowledging secret US-Japan pacts that had been declassified in the United States.

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` Shinzo Abe says he is hope that formal talks with ` North Korea ‘ can Resume soon as soon as Possible ‘

#AceWorldNews – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he hopes formal talks with North Korea can be resumed as soon as possible, Reuters reports.

Abe said that talks between Japanese and North American affiliates from the Red Cross regarding the return from North Korea of the remains of Japanese, who died in WWII, was an important step in mending relations.

Formal talks between Tokyo and Pyongyang have been suspended since a December 2012 North Korea rocket launch, which it claims was done to put a weather satellite into orbit.

Related News – March 17 – 09.33 GMT – Extract – Negotiations were frozen between the two governments in December 2012 after Pyongyang conducted a test-launch of a long-range missile. http://wp.me/p165ui-4lK

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Japan and North Korea over `Pyongyang’s Nuclear Missile Program ‘ this follows a meeting in China ‘

#AceWorldNews Japan and North Korea are expected to resume talks over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs after over a year, reports Japanese media.

Although the government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has not officially confirmed it, dates for negotiations are expected to be announced this week following a meeting between North Korean and Japanese politicians in China last week.

Negotiations were frozen between the two governments in December 2012 after Pyongyang conducted a test-launch of a long-range missile.

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` Banking World changes as `Japan’s biggest brokerage `Nomura Holdings’ has chosen a `Woman’ to head its Banking Arm’

#AceFinanceNews says in a world dominated by men this happens Japan’s biggest brokerage Nomura Holdings said Wednesday it has chosen a woman to head its banking arm, in what is believed to be a first for the country’s male-dominated financial sector.

Chie Shimpo, 48, will next month become president of Nomura Trust and Banking, as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe calls for more women to join the labour force and for companies to bring female employees into the boardroom.

None of the nation’s three biggest banks — Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui and Mizuho Financial — have top female executives, according to a government survey.

The central bank, Bank of Japan, has just one woman on its nine-member board.

In an interview last year with a Japanese business on-line magazine, Shimpo dismissed her gender as a factor at the office.

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#ace-banking-news, #afp, #bank-of-japan, #chie-shimpo, #japan, #japanese-prime-minister-shinzo-abe