Japan ex-minister warns resolving isles row with Russia not easy
- Wall Street falls as investors ready for Trump's inauguration
- IBM (IBM) Tops Q4 EPS by 13c, FY17 EPS Guidance Beats Consensus
- American Express (AXP) Misses Q4 EPS by 7c, FY17 EPS Guidance Tops Views at Mid-Poinit
- Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) Tops Q1 EPS by 3c, Offers Q2 Guidance, Announces Buyback
- After-Hours Stock Movers 01/19: (SWKS) (QRVO) (NVAX) Higher; (AFMD) (SGYP) (IBM) Lower (more...)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attend a meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Lima, Peru, November 19, 2016. Sputnik/Kremlin/Mikhail Klimentyev via REUTERS
Get daily under-the-radar research with StreetInsider.com's Stealth Growth Insider Get your 2-Wk Free Trial here.
TOKYO (Reuters) - A potential ruling party rival to Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned on Monday against excessive optimism over a breakthrough in a decades-old territorial row with Moscow when Abe meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Japan next month.
A territorial feud over a chain of western Pacific islands, seized by Soviet troops at the end of World War Two, has precluded a formal peace treaty between the two countries.
Abe, who sees improved ties with Moscow as a counter-balance to a rising China, hopes the lure of economic cooperation will ease a breakthrough when he meets Putin in Japan on Dec. 15 and 16, given the hit to Russia's economy from sluggish oil prices and Western sanctions imposed after its annexation of Crimea.
"I hope negotiations between Japan and Russia will succeed, but we Japanese people must recognize this will not be so easy," said former Japanese Defence Minister Shigeru Ishiba, who has challenged Abe in the past for leadership of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and hinted he may do so again in future.
"It is clear when we look at statements by the (Russian) president and foreign minister that there is not one occasion where they said that if there is economic support, it will lead to some resolution of the territorial issue," Ishiba told a news conference, echoing the view of some pessimistic academics.
Japan has proposed economic cooperation in eight sectors, including medical technology and energy, and has been nudging wary Japanese firms to take part.
A list of projects seen by Reuters includes as targets for possible agreement by December an extension of Sakhalin-2, Russia's only operating liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, and a joint investment fund by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and a Russian counterpart.
But a future pipeline linking Russia and Japan will not be the topic of high-level talks, according to the list.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's desire for better ties with Moscow appears on the surface to be a plus for Abe's approach after U.S. President Barack Obama's rocky ties with Moscow, but could also reduce Japan's geopolitical appeal for Putin, diplomatic experts said.
Abe told reporters after meeting Putin in Peru on Saturday that the path to a peace treaty was "coming into sight" but added it was "not easy to take a big step ahead".
Putin said separately that both sides were willing to sign a peace treaty but added, "The road leading to that is not a simple one."
(Reporting by Linda Sieg; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
Serious News for Serious Traders! Try StreetInsider.com Premium Free!
You May Also Be Interested In
- EpiPen rival to be offered free to many but high price for insurers
- New York resident pleads guilty to trying to support Islamic State
- Ex-House speaker sues sex abuse accuser for $1.7 million
Create E-mail Alert Related CategoriesReuters
Related EntitiesDonald J. Trump, Barack Obama
Sign up for StreetInsider Free!
Receive full access to all new and archived articles, unlimited portfolio tracking, e-mail alerts, custom newswires and RSS feeds - and more!