Recently, news about Russian-Japanese relations has repeatedly appeared in the media. Talking about whether a closer relationship between Russia and Japan will damage China’s interests, Wang Haiyun, senior adviser at the Chinese Institute of International Strategic Association, expressed the belief that Russia and Japan will not really come together. He listed the following reasons as the basis for his opinion:
First, the strategic interests of Russia and Japan are in conflict. Russia is an emerging big non-Western country, while Japan is a developed country which has boasted that it is an important member of the Western powers. Russia’s biggest security threat comes from the U.S.-led military alliance system, while Japan plays a very active role in the alliance system.
Second, there is a huge difference between Japan and Russia’s strategic ideals. Russia values a multipolar world, democratization of international relations, and a diversified world civilization. It strongly advocates the establishment of a just and rational international political and economic order and safeguards the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states and the principle of an independent development path. Japan, on the other hand, has closely followed the U.S. which has repeatedly and brutally been destroying these major principles.
Third, there are many strategic contradictions between Japan and Russia. The territorial dispute between Russia and Japan is a dead knot.
All in all, there are many structural contradictions between Russia and Japan. Although relations between the two countries may be easing, they definitely will not get very close. It is reasonable to be vigilant to the risk that closer Russia-Japan relations may harm China’s interests, but there is no need to worry too much.
Source: Huanqiu (Global Times), July 29, 2015