The American president is doing his thing again. It is really quite surprising how easy George Bush can solve international problems, even those that couldn't be solved for decades. Another problem has been settled: Bush promised Japanese Premier Koizumi to assist with the issue of the South Kurile Islands.
The Japanese press have been commenting a lot on this bit of news lately. It was reported that Japan will try to convince Iran not to export missile technology to the third countries in return for American president’s favor. It is not really clear, however, what levers Japan has to exert its influence on Iran, but it seems there must some, as President Bush asked for Japan's help.
An American diplomat (who works in Japan) said that President Bush confirmed the degree of the US position, about US support for Japan's requirement for the acknowledgement of its claim to the islands. Well, there is nothing surprising about this, as Japan is America's closest strategic partner in the Far East. However, the open interference in the bilateral relations between Russia and Japan, this is definitely something totally new. We wonder what the American president would say if Mexico claimed Texas and said that it wanted it back? And what if Russia promised to assist Mexico? One can guess that the reaction would be overwhelming.
Nevertheless, it is not ruled out that the Japanese misunderstood something and were wishfully thinking. However, if the American president made such a promise, then Japan will soon leave his side.
It is worth mentioning that the Russian government has not reacted yet to the controversy, and no one asks Washington to clarify its intentions. It seems that the Kremlin does not trust the Japanese press. If this is so, then why the worsening of relations with the USA? Especially when it turns out that George Bush mixed up “deflation" and "devaluation” again.
As a matter of fact, if Tokyo and Washington do not understand that such problems must be solved on the bilateral level, then it is their problem, not Moscow’s. Let the Americans give away the islands to Japan as much as they want. All the same, the islands will not become Japanese territory. If Tokyo really wants to achieve progress on this issue, then Japanese politicians and diplomats need to listen to what Russia has to say on the subject.
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the termination of diplomatic relations with NATO at a time when US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ended a meeting in Georgia with his counterpart