As Rembrandt will help Abe to establish a dialogue with Putin

The Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

Shinzo Abe is a remarkable politician with their own special style. One of his strengths — the ability to establish personal relationships with the most difficult interlocutors. With Russian President Vladimir Putin, for example, they have already switched to “you”, and Russian name “burademiru” (it sounds Japanese) is simple the Japanese are known not worse, than the Russians — the Japanese name of Shinzo.

The charm of Abe in the service of big politics

The key to its success partly to the careful preparation for each meeting, through which he leads with amazing punctuality — that upcoming meeting with Putin will be already the 17th in Japan knows probably anyone who is even slightly interested in Russian-Japanese relations. For example, to the February meeting with trump, he prepared a comprehensive development plan for economic cooperation, which, of course, could not like the new American leader . The success of the official part of the meeting, Abe then secured to a Golf course with almost best friend. A similar “technique” he used on the Russian direction.

The problem of the South Kuril Islands is the cornerstone of the political course Abe with a promise to solve it he went to the polls in 2012, without this topic, none of his keynote speech. But, says the Prime Minister, over the past 70 years, the parties have not progressed in the solution of a millimeter. He seems to have decided that to end this problem now it is possible only with a political will. And that, of course, need a good relationship with political counterparts, in the course went his charm and ability to establish personal relationships, and, it seems, this gives the result.

The eight-point plan set the tone

The most significant breakthrough of recent years occurred in may last year in Sochi, where Abe arrived with a bulky package of proposals, dubbed the “eight-point plan”. Work on its preparation began long before the summit in the offices of the Japanese government. An active role was played by one of the closest associates of the Prime Minister, who is now already well known in Russia, Minister of economy, trade and industry Hiroshige Seko. After the may visit of the Russian-Japanese dialogue has intensified dramatically, and the delegation began to meet for consultations almost several times a month.

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Offer at first glance sounded more than impressive here and the traditional energy sector, medicine, and even a separate item on humanitarian exchanges. However, on closer examination it becomes clear that the proposed format rather collects all of the previously discussed projects together that should set the tone for the entire process of development of bilateral relations. Some, however, complain that the plan in terms of content not lack of novelty.

On the other hand, according to Seko, Abe now puts the economy at the forefront and demonstrates the benefits of cooperation and the possibility of solving political problems, because the opposite approach — no economy without solving the territorial issue over 70 years, to no avail. This is not to forget that a lot in Japan and opponents of such friendship with Russia, saying that why go to economic cooperation in the interests of Moscow, if compromise on the issue of the South Kuril Islands as there was no and no. So the Prime Minister is extremely important to bring from home a specific and significant success of the reformed policy towards Russia.

And this possibility is now there. According to the results of Putin’s visit to Japan was reached a solution that is truly useful for both parties. Now Moscow and Tokyo are actively discussing joint economic activities on southern Kuriles.

During his upcoming visit to Russia Japanese Prime Minister, apparently, to fight in order to show the movement to the problem, though slow, but there. As one of the options press calls a potential decision to launch Charter flights to the Russian island in order to facilitate the former Japanese inhabitants of these territories visiting the graves of relatives.

In the course of going art

However, the importance of strengthening relations of trust, the necessity of which the Prime Minister constantly says it’s not canceled. And this time the head of the Japanese government seems to know what personal topics to talk with the Russian President. Conversation, they say, comes about European painting.

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As suggested by Japanese journalists, with the goal of finding a venue for informal communication Abe recently in the day visited the ongoing Tokyo Mori Museum exhibition “Old masters” from the Hermitage collection, where he carefully inspected the exhibition for about 40 minutes. Of the 85 presented there masterpieces of European painting, brought from his native city of Russian President, the Prime Minister singled out the painting “Haman recognizes his fate” of Rembrandt’s work.

Thanks to not noticeable at first glance, touching the references the audience often cheers for taking the speech of the Japanese Prime Minister. For example, after his mention of the joint Soviet-Japanese film Dersu Uzala, directed by Akira Kurosawa, during a speech at the Eastern economic forum the room literally applauded Abe. A similar approach he has to the USA, where at a press conference following the meeting with trump Japanese Prime Minister raised close to the interlocutor, the topic and spoke about his style of play in Golf “at a time until the hole will not achieve, but always strive to, not “slicing” mentally the distance to the target”.

Will this time he Rembrandt, will show the near future.

Kirill Agafonov

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