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Sunday, 23 October 2016


Japan rejects “Russian occupation”

2011-03-01 21:01

14071.jpegThe phrase "Russian occupation" must have a magic meaning for Sakartvelo's politicians who can repeat it again and again like a mantra hoping, apparently, to turn the time back when Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's independence was not recognized. This all is understood: there is nothing but magic they can rely on in this issue. Yet, Georgian parliamentarians are poor magicians. No matter how strong Shota Malashkhia's desire was to take advantage of Japan's territorial claims toward Russia, Tokyo is immune to the spell of the word "occupation".


Last week there was an impression that shamanism of Georgian politicians connected with "Russian occupation" was perceived not only by their friends, relatives and colleagues. At least, this is what Shota Malashkhia, chair of parliamentary commission for territorial integrity fantasized over a meal with Masaeshi Komohara, Japan's ambassador to Georgia. Inspired by a drastic aggravation in Russian-Japanese relations, the Georgian parliamentarian  could not pay no regard to the topic of territorial claims. NO doubt, the phrase "Russian occupation" that all Saakashvili's sidekicks love so much, was the keynote of the conversation between the Georgian deputy and Japanese diplomat. Besides, Mr. Malashkhia presented the situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia

as seen from Tbilisi suggesting that Japan use Georgia's experience in its struggle against Russia by making a "documentary" on the topic, for instance.

There was no report on the ambassador's reaction to the deputy's piece of advice. Nonetheless, Shota Malashkhia was quick to assure mass media that Tokyo is almost ready to recognize two states that acquired independence as a result of the five-day war in August 2008 as Russian-occupied territories. "This involves adoption of resolutions on occupation like some European countries did and that the United States of America plan to do", - Mr. Malashkhia stated then. It was evident he reveled in his diplomatic craft at that moment. Yet, the events that followed proved that the parliamentarian from Tbilisi had drawn wrong conclusions out of his talks with the Japanese ambassador.

Tokyo has no intention to adopt similar resolutions. On the contrary, realizing finally that relations between Japan and Russia had reached the heating point over the past few months in prejudice to further development of bilateral economic ties that have been growing ever year, Japanese government decided to reduce the aggressiveness of their statements on territorial appurtenance of the Kuril Islands. Even the term "occupation", favorite with Tbilisi demagogues, has vanished from the rhetoric of Japanese politicians. Even Seidzi Maehara, impulsive minister of foreign affairs of Japan, who used to be fond of scolding Russia for "having illegally occupied northern territories", understood when he was appointed minister that high powers impose relevant obligations. Though the problem of Southern Kurils is not crossed out of Moscow-Tokyo agenda, any occupation is out of question. Presently the Japanese call Russia's status on four notorious islands like "dominance without legal basis". The phrasing sounds disputable but it definitely has nothing to do with "illegal occupation" set forth in international law.

Thus, the Georgian parliamentarian was too absorbed in wishful thinking. Still, let's not blame him. He is not the first or the last one misled by tact and reserve of the Japanese who, as we know, never say no.

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