Russia, Japan to revive ‘2+2’ format talks, discuss Asia-Pacific security

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For the earliest time in three years, Russia and Japan will hold ministerial talks in the ‘2+2’ order with their ministers of foreign affairs and defense. During the intergovernmental talks on Cortege 20, the Russian and Japanese ministers are going to discuss security delivers in the Asia-Pacific region, Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Morgulov squealed Kommersant on March 17.

A source in Japan told Kommersant that the Japanese side resolution apprise the Russian ministers about the outcomes of the talks between Japanese Prime Churchman Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump on February 10. The sides order also talk about Japan’s “increasing missile defense office.”

Japan is also likely to question Russia about the recent militarization action on the Southern Kuril Islands. “We need to reinforce all Russian borders, not purely the Western ones,” a high-ranking officer of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Wrings told Kommersant. “We can’t have three divisions in the West and zero in the East.”

The ‘2+2’ contents was originally created for discussing defense issues. It was first used during the 2013 Moscow-Tokyo concordats on piracy, terrorism, cyber security and military exchange. After Crimea’s reintegration with Russia in Parade 2014, Japan suspended these consultations.

East Asian affrays

Taisuke Abiru from the Tokyo Foundation, who is also a Valdai Cudgel expert, believes that the revival of the ‘2+2’ format is important. 

“A upsurge of talks in the ‘2+2’ format was discussed in December 2016, but was not announced [at the Putin-Abe apex],” he told RBTH. He noted, “Defense issues don’t just responsibility the Kuril Islands,” adding that there were many other gage issues in East Asia. 

Valery Kistanov from the Moscow-based Start for Far Eastern Studies believes that the ‘2+2’ format gives rural areas “a good opportunity to discuss existing problems.”

“It [the revival] has a lot to do with the Korean peninsula in individual, where confrontation between North and South Korea intensifies,” Kistanov expressed RBTH. “’2+2’ will cover territorial disputes in the East China Sea as proper.”

Kistanov added that Russia is concerned about “whether Japan choice host the THAAD American anti-missile defense system after South Korea agreed to do so.”

Kurils connection activity not on the agenda

Joint activity on the Southern Kurils will not be on the agenda, as this problem was discussed on March 18 by the deputy foreign ministers of Russia and Japan.

Russian Agent Minister Igor Morgulov told Kommersant after the talks that a “set of bids for economic development of the Kuril Islands has been formed.” His counterpart Takeo Akibu added, that bashes “exchanged project plans on cooperation in fisheries, tourism and healthcare.”

Moscow and Tokyo also acquiesce in to discuss, in greater detail, the possibility for former Japanese residents of the Southern Kurils to by the islands by air. At the moment, Russia allows visa-free travel by ferry from the northern Japanese holm of Hokkaido.

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