Diplomatic Bluebook 2017

Chapter 2

Japan's Foreign Policy that Takes a Panoramic Perspective of the World Map

Section 5 Russia, Central Asia and Caucasia


Given the rapidly changing strategic environment of the Asia-Pacific region, developing relations with Russia as Japan's appropriate partner in the region contributes to Japan's national interest and regional peace and prosperity. With such understanding, Japan-Russia cooperation progressed in a wide range of areas in 2016. Four Summit Meetings, including the summit meeting in December on the occasion of President Putin's visit to Japan as president for the first time in 11 years, and three foreign ministers' meetings were held. And on the economic front, the eight-point Cooperation Plan for Innovation in the Living Environment, Economy, and Industry of Russia1 was specified, and there were security, culture, and human exchanges.

Regarding the Northern Territories Issue, which is the greatest concern between Japan and Russia, negotiations based on a “new approach” proceeded, and at the summit meeting in December, the two leaders expressed their sincere determination to resolve the peace treaty issue, agreed to commence discussions on a special arrangement for undertaking joint economic activity on the four islands, and agreed to improve procedures for the former island residents to make grave visits, etc.

While continuing to have political dialogues at various levels including the summit level, and promoting overall Japan-Russia cooperation in every related field, Japan will energetically negotiate with Russia with a view to concluding a peace treaty, through the resolution of the Northern Territories issue.

Countries in Central Asia and the Caucasus are situated in a strategic geopolitical location that bridges Asia, Europe, Russia, and the Middle East, and have abundant natural resources such as oil, natural gas and uranium and other minerals. Also, these countries are important in the context of efforts to address key issues the international community faces such as the stability of the whole region, the fight against terrorism, and measures to counter illicit drugs. In 2016, the countries in Central Asia and the Caucasus celebrated the 25th anniversary of their independence from the Soviet Union.

Japan will continue to work for the strengthening of bilateral ties with these countries through VIP visits, etc., and will continue initiatives to promote regional cooperation utilizing the framework of the “Central Asia plus Japan” Dialogue, etc.

  • 1 (1) Extending healthy life expectancies, (2) developing comfortable and clean cities easy to reside and live in, (3) fundamentally expanding small and medium-sized companies exchange and cooperation, (4) energy, (5) promoting industrial diversification and enhancing productivity in Russia, (6) developing industries and export bases in the Far East, (7) cooperation on cutting-edge technologies, and (8) fundamentally expanding people-to-people interaction.