Japan’s Dilemma with Sanctions Policy Towards Russia: A Delicate Balancing Act
Dr. Maria Shagina gives her views on Japan’s position when it comes to following international sanctions placed on Russia. Her paper explains how the country’s strategic interests have often collided with a sense of obligation to adhere to Western foreign policy actions so it often pursues a delicate balancing act between the push and pull factors.
Showing solidarity with G7 countries, Japan imposed sanctions on Russia, albeit reluctantly. The Ukraine crisis occurred amid Japan’s efforts to reinvigorate its relations with Russia in the hope of solving the territorial dispute. While Japan felt obliged to support the international community and bandwagoned on Western sanctions, the geopolitical dynamics in Asia-Pacific forced it to take a conciliatory approach to Russia.
Addressing its strategic interests, domestically the Abe administration was challenged to keep the balance between the West and Russia. Despite its wrongdoings in Ukraine, Russia was perceived as the resolve to Japan’s strategic concerns. Tokyo’s balancing act resulted in symbolic sanctions to avoid any irritations for Moscow. The evaluation of Russia’s role in Japan’s strategic concerns in the region, however, questions the country’s calculations and the expedience for symbolic sanctions.
Please click “Read full text” above to see this Focus Asia paper.
The Institute for Security and Development Policy is an independent, non-partisan research and policy organization based in Stockholm dedicated to expanding understanding of international affairs. With its extensive contact network with partner institutes in Asia, each year ISDP invites a number of visiting researchers as well as guest authors from the region to participate in research, discussion, and exchange with European scholars and policy officials. ISDP’s Focus Asia series serves as a forum for these researchers as well as guest authors to provide and clarify their viewpoints on the contemporary issues and challenges concerning their countries, adding a much-needed Asian perspective to the policy and research debate.
For enquiries, please contact: email@example.com
No parts of this paper may be reproduced without ISDP’s permission.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this paper are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect those of ISDP or its sponsors.
Japan’s Historic Moment: Global Challenges Necessitate Policy Evolution
Abstract: As Japan’s power and importance in the regional and international domain continues to grow, this issue brief provides an analysis of the domestic and international threats that are challenging […]
Tokyo’s Power Projection: The NATO Calculus
Introduction: If 2020 was an inflection point with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the world to readjust its economic overdependence on China, then the year 2022 is colored by the Russian […]
ISDP Japan Newsletter
The Stockholm Japan Center provides an overview of the latest news, analysis and opinions from Japan in a weekly newsletter. You don’t want to miss an issue? Subscribe to the […]
Japan’s New Diplomatic Bluebook: Revised by the Russia-Ukraine War
Introduction: 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. […]
Japan’s Stake in the Ukraine Crisis
Introduction: Since February 26, Russia has engaged in continued all-out military action, amounting to a full-scale invasion in Ukraine. It recently ordered its nuclear deterrent forces to be on high […]
Tokyo and Taliban 2.0: Gauging Japan’s Political Stake in Kabul
Tokyo’s perspective on the Taliban is a critical chapter in Japan’s evolving approach to upholding ‘peace’ and ‘security’ in its post-war foreign policy thinking. Despite not being an immediate or […]