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U.S., Europe wary about Japan’s conciliatory line toward Russia 

Tokyo Shimbun expressed concern that PM Abe’s latest overtures toward Putin may be construed by the U.S. and Europe as overly conciliatory at a time when the schism between the West and Russia over Ukraine and other issues, including the human rights situation in Russia, is becoming prolonged. Since the premier apparently did not criticize the annexation of Crimea during the summit, the daily said Putin may have concluded that he scored a “diplomatic victory” by disrupting G7 unity ahead of the Ise-Shima Summit. 

 

Yomiuri said Abe’s eagerness to achieve a breakthrough in the decades-long dispute was evidenced by his plan to visit Russia again in September, his fifth consecutive trip without any reciprocal visit to Japan by Putin. The premier may have judged that this is a good opportunity to promote dialogue with Putin since U.S. pressure against rapprochement with Moscow may ease as President Obama’s term of office expires in less than a year. 

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