Japan fears Moscow may take advantage of Tokyo's vulnerability

Japan may run the risk of "retaliation" from Russia because of the sanctions. Moscow may allegedly take advantage of Japan's dependence on Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies.

The Russian LNG is a ""vulnerability" that leave Japan at risk of retaliation from Moscow," an article published on The Japan Times said.

While US and British giants such as ExxonMobil and Shell have given up their stakes in the Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 projects, Tokyo has never left them, even in light of new Russia's rules of the game, the article continues.

"The Russian government has been very clear that they view Japan as an 'unfriendly state'. There is every reason to think that they could also manipulate exports from the Sakhalin projects to retaliate against Japan," James Brown, a political science professor at Temple University's Japan campus said.

Japan has never forgotten either the oil shock of the 1970s. Threats to energy security are ingrained in the minds of the members of the Japanese government.

"Japanese officials frame the continued use of Sakhalin as an energy security imperative, and warn that withdrawing could see China enter the projects," the article says.

Japanese media earlier reported that the Russian authorities for the first time refused to hold consultations with Japan regarding fishing conditions in the waters off the Kuril Islands in 2023. Tokyo believes that this will negatively affect the catch already in the coming months.

Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, in his keynote speech at the opening session of the parliament, said that despite difficult relations with Moscow, Tokyo remainув open to negotiations to conclude a peace treaty with Russia.

"Despite the difficult situation in relations with Russia, our country still preserves the course towards negotiations in order to conclude a peace treaty after resolving the territorial issue," he said.

Commenting on this statement, Grigory Karasin, the head of the international committee of the Federation Council noted that it would be absurd to discuss serious issues with a country that took explicitly unfriendly positions against Russia.

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Author`s name Petr Ernilin
Editor Dmitry Sudakov
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