Abe Administration’s Diplomacy with Russia” Exposed in Ukraine Invasion
Japan's "weak-kneed" diplomacy toward Russia began with "Shinzo...
Most observers believed that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would be “stopped short. But on the morning of February 24, the war began with the bombardment of the Russian army. Troops, tanks, fighter jets, helicopters, and armored vehicles crossed the Ukrainian border in huge numbers. Russia’s barbarism is unforgivable.
President Putin, who started this “terrible war,” and former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were close friends, calling each other “Vladimir” and “Shinzo.
Expectations for “Shinzo” have been betrayed.
Under his administration, former Prime Minister Abe visited Russia a whopping 11 times and held a total of 27 summit meetings with President Putin.
Since the end of last year, when Russia was massing its troops on the Ukrainian border, there were expectations that Prime Minister Abe should play a political role in this tense time. But he failed to do anything.
What he did was to say at a meeting of his faction, ‘Prime Minister Kishida is going to meet with President Putin. We must explain Japan’s position and make efforts to resolve this situation peacefully.
The response, as if to say, “I am not the prime minister now, so it doesn’t matter,” led to widespread disappointment within the party. This is a far cry from the reality of Japan’s “leading politicians,” such as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who whipped his old bones to serve as a diplomatic envoy for world peace even after leaving office.
Moreover, at the time of Abe’s statement, the Japan-Russia summit phone call was still “in the process of being arranged. In other words, former Prime Minister Abe leaked “diplomatic secrets” before they were made public. Needless to say, it was frowned upon. A leading figure in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has opened his heavy mouth.
Abe was aiming to conclude a peace treaty with Japan in conjunction with negotiations for the return of the Northern Territories. To achieve this goal, he was probably hoping to achieve the return of at least two of the islands through economic cooperation using Abenomics.
Abe was to participate in the “Eastern Economic Forum,” but the “outcome” was “strawberry cultivation” on the four northern islands. Abe was just being played by Putin.
Japan has been pushed around by Putin’s diplomacy. In other words, there is no hope that former Prime Minister Abe can exert his influence as a “diplomatic card” in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida know this. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida know this, so they are not thinking of sending Abe to Moscow as a special envoy.
added the heavyweight legislator.
I want to return to the public stage…
Why do we hear persistent calls for “re-appointment” when former Prime Minister Abe is already a “statesman of the past”? What is the reason for the political statements that seem to mount against Prime Minister Kishida?
The Abe faction, which has 95 members and is the largest faction in the party, is seeking to further expand and retain influence in the run-up to the presidential election in two years’ time. Former Prime Minister Abe is trying to return to the political stage. Senator Satsuki Katayama, who left the Nikai faction, is also expected to join the Abe faction. Furthermore, Abe is planning to encourage former Prime Minister Yoshihide Kan to start his own faction so that the Abe-Kan coalition can counter the Kishida administration,” said a former LDP secretary-general.
Whether it is aimed at the “fifth” Abe cabinet or at the kingmaker, we do not know. However, it is clear that it is former Prime Minister Abe’s desire to seize the initiative in the LDP with a large majority and exert influence over the incoming administration. In other words, he will have no chance to “return to the political stage” unless he does so.
Former Prime Minister Yoshihide Kan’s “grudge will not be forgotten.”
The “Kan faction” is seen as the mainstay of Abe’s politics. However, the
I’m not going to start up a ‘Kan faction’ because I became an independent because I kept talking about the evils of factions,” he said. It is only a study group. The media would still call it a Kan faction, but if I had started a faction, I would be vilified in the same way as Shigeru Ishiba, who denied that he was a faction but became one.
Former Prime Minister Kan himself has told people around him.
I was actually planning to run for president last year.
However, Kan was prevented from running. Kan has not forgotten that Abe abandoned the Kan administration.
Former Prime Minister Abe’s political ambitions know no bounds. But contrary to what one might think, Abe’s centripetal force seems to be waning with the establishment of the Kishida administration.
Abenomics,” he said, “is a ridiculous economic policy that has left the Japanese economy in shambles. Even the return of Sanae Takaichi, the political policy chief who was nominated for the presidency, to the Abe faction has not been easy because of opposition from within the faction. If Takaichi returns to the Abe faction, there is a possibility that the Abe faction will split.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has clearly demonstrated the inability of leaders in democratic blocs to make a difference. Japan, among others, has been severely damaged by the negative history of the Abe administration. At a turning point in the world’s history, Japan’s political situation is also suffering a major ripple effect.
Interview and text： Shutaro Iwashiro Photo： Reuters/Afro