Thursday, November 22, 2018

The Signal for a True Pivot

Russia really needs Japan in its corner of Asia and Japan really wants at least some of its territory that the USSR took from Japan in 1945. Could a peace treaty after so many false starts to signing one finally take place in the next couple years?

Europe has been nothing but a disaster for Putin who has effed up the west royally, and so Putin needs a helping hand in Asia that doesn't come from the rising power of China:

Putin’s interest is both economic and geopolitical. A deal with Japan would potentially open the flow of Japanese investment to Russia’s Far East, a vast, underdeveloped region where Russia needs to counterbalance a growing Chinese influence. Improving relations with Japan would also help Putin in his search for alternatives to cooperation with the West. He knows by now that U.S. economic sanctions and weaker European restrictions are here to stay, so he’s working feverishly to buttress other partnerships in the Middle East and Asia.
There are Russians who complain that Russia loudly took Crimea but quietly plans to cede territory to Japan. The quietly ceding land part was already established in May 2005 as I note in this post, which is a problem should China refuse to continue a 2001 treaty that muted China's large land claims against Russia in the Far East.

I recently noted that I wouldn't believe Russia is truly pivoting to the Pacific until they agree to a peace treaty with Japan.

A Russian pivot to Asia after alienating NATO and America would be futile if Russia is sticking its head in the meat grinder of a rising China with territorial claims in addition to a hostile Japan and America.

A deal with Japan effectively nullifies America in Asia as a force to fight Russia there, the Bering Strait being an inhospitable region to wage war.

And that would provide Russia with a rear area if China decides to signal their rise to world power status by striking Russia.

But a treaty with Japan ends the pretext that Russian military improvements in the Far East is directed at Japan and not China. And how much can Russia give back to Japan and still retain the Sea of Okhotsk as a SSBN bastion for a survivable nuclear deterrent in the Pacific?

So who knows? Maybe this time for sure. Or maybe not. It makes sense but that never stopped Putin from effing up royally.