Japan’s New Diplomatic Bluebook: Revised by the Russia-Ukraine War
On April 22, Japan’s latest Diplomatic Bluebook, an annual diplomatic report published by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), was reported to a cabinet meeting of the Kishida administration. Based on the contents, four points are worth emphasizing with regards to Japan-Russia relations after the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine War. First, the report officially criticized Russia’s military operations against Ukraine, stating that “Russia’s ongoing military invasion of Ukraine has brutally undermined the foundation of an international order built over the past 100 years.” Second, the report describes the Northern Territories as Japan’s “inherent territory” for the first time in 11 years. Third, the report mentioned for the first time in 19 years that the Northern Territories have “illegally been occupied” by Russia. Fourth, the report argues that Japan is currently in no position to resume diplomatic negotiations toward a Japan-Russia peace treaty.
This year’s Diplomatic Bluebook was thoroughly revised after the outbreak of the war, and it shows that Japan has readopted a “hardline stance” on the territorial dispute with Russia. Does this mean Japan has given up on a peace treaty with Russia?
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