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Japan & Russia
Abe Ignores Obama’s Request to Postpone Russia Trip

President Obama is worried about Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s upcoming trip to Russia, according to the Asian Nikkei Review:

[S]ources quoted Obama as urging Abe to give up his Russia trip for now, citing Russia’s differences with the United States over the handling of the Ukrainian and Syrian issues. […]

One source said Abe “will push through with his trip to Russia in May whatever the United States says” and that Abe told Obama that resolving the territorial dispute will contribute to stability in the East Asian region.

Abe has been working on improving relations with Putin, hoping to achieve some sort of agreement over the longstanding Kuril islands dispute. Abe currently chairs the G-7, and, last month, he used his position to suggest the influential economic consortium consider restarting talks with Russia. The Kremlin has been making friendly noises toward Tokyo as well: In a move seen as designed to appeal to Japan, Moscow condemned North Korea’s January nuclear test in unusually harsh terms.

But the real story here is simply this: lame duck President Obama isn’t commanding much respect from America’s allies.

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  • Jim__L

    Why is the Obama administration complaining that someone else is trying to “hit the reset button” with Russia?

    I’m pretty sure it’s not because they have learned any lessons, even at this point.

  • Angel Martin

    America’s allies are not willing to put themselves out for Obama because what goes around, comes around.

  • Anthony

    “But the real story here is simply this: lame duck President Obama isn’t commanding much respect from America’s allies.” Conversely, world moves on! Japan and Russia are in same geopolitical neighborhood (with a rising China). Though an ally, perhaps Japan (Abe) thinks conducting aspects of its foreign policy considering domestic (regional) interests must be done not as an adjunct solely of U.S. interests – Lame Duck Status or not.

  • GS

    When did a lame dick command respect?

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