Two years after Crimea, are Japan–Ukraine ties weakening? | East Asia Forum
Ukraine has not hesitated to seek Japan's economic expertise in the wake of the crisis. bringing total Japanese investment in Ukraine to US$ billion. ties with Russia, Japan may limit its cooperation with Ukraine to the. Japan's relationship with the U.S., underpinned by a formal security ties with Russia a foreign policy priority, saying this bilateral relationship. Their primary focus lies on Europe's economic well-being and stability. In their analysis of the causes and consequences of the conflict, Japanese effect on Japanese-Russian relations have counter the growing influence of the US.
With the involvement of Russia, Japan has hoped that Moscow could play a positive role in the peace talks. The timing of the aid is interesting and seems designed to counterweigh the weak sanctions. Various grants were allocated through the Council of Europe and the OSCE to support election-related activities and judicial and anti-corruption reforms.
As Ukraine seeks to garner international support, any sanctions are welcomed regardless of their effectiveness. In the Ukrainian media, Japan is praised for being the only Asian country to impose sanctions on Russia. But in Russia, the symbolic nature of Japanese sanctions is emphasized. In Ukraine, Japan keeps a low profile about its strategic partnership with Russia, preferring to emphasize the similarities between both countries.
Tokyo wants to avoid upsetting Moscow. For the same reason, Japan opted out of the UK's call to expel Russian diplomats over the Skripal case and gave no direct support for airstrikes in Syria, claiming there was a lack of evidence. But as international pressure against Russia rises, Japan will find it more difficult to maintain its delicate balance between the G7, Russia, and Ukraine.
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But in the long run, the recent rapprochement may not bode well for Ukraine. The question is whether economics or geopolitics will dominate. Even if Japan continues to support sanctions against Russia, if Tokyo decides that continued support for Ukraine is inhibiting ties with Russia, Japan may limit its cooperation with Ukraine to the economic sphere.
Continued pressure from the United States is one factor preventing a drawing-down of the Japan—Ukraine relationship. As an industrialised democracy, Japan enjoys close cooperation with the United States and the European Union.
The general sentiment among policymakers is that while Japan—Russia relations are not necessarily hostile, they are not at their fullest potential.
Japan and Russia have shown a willingness to cooperate, despite bilateral disagreements, on areas of mutual interest, such as the recent security crisis in North Korea.
As such, Japan may find that it is still able to support Ukraine without hindering its ties to Russia. In economic terms, Ukraine has not lost a friend in Japan. Japanese investment in Ukraine will likely continue as long as Ukraine remains a sufficiently healthy and low-risk environment.
But politically, the future of Japan—Ukraine relations remains uncertain.
As each tries to navigate the diplomatic fallout from the Crimea crisis, moves on both sides have become tentative.