Japan seeks balance between Russia, US on Ukraine ahead of G7 meeting

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-6-3 18:06:10

Vice President of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party Masahiko Komura on Tuesday met with a close aide to Russian president, seeking balance between the United States and Russia over current Ukraine crisis, local media reported.

In a meeting between Komura and Sergey Naryshkin, speaker of the lower house of the Russian parliament, at the Russian Embassy in Tokyo, the Japanese side asked Russia to play a"constructive role" in the Ukrainian situation.

The Japanese government has avoid other senior officials, but Komura who is close to Abe, contacted with Naryshkin, Japan's Kyodo News quoted government officials as saying, probably in an effort to ease Washington's feeling on Tokyo's acceptance of the Russian's visit.

Japan has joined the United State and European countries in imposing sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Crimea in southern Ukraine, including travel bans and asset freezes against Russian officials, but Naryshkin is not on the list, said Kyodo.

For his part, Naryshkin said such sanctions are"unproductive" and not conducive to bringing stability to Ukraine, adding Russia is disappointed that Japan joined in Western countries in imposing sanction on Russia.

"I think Japan is a big and strong country that should adopt a more independent policy,"Naryshkin was quoted as saying, referring to an argument that whether bilateral cooperation should be affected by the issue.

Naryshkin's visit was ahead of Abe's visit to Belgium for an upcoming meeting of the Group of Seven (G7), which will be held instead of the Group of Eight with exclusion of Russia as the seven country protest against Russia over the Ukrainian crisis.

Abe said earlier that the G7 leaders would urge that they should never accept the use of force to change the status quo in Ukraine, reports said.

Naryshkin also met with Japan's upper house's President Masaaki Yamazaki on Tuesday and former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and lower house's Speaker Bunmei Ibuki on Monday.

Posted in: Asia-Pacific

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