News

Putin Promises Japan Oil, but not Islands

Russian President Vladimir Putin, on a three-day visit to Japan, met for more than two hours with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. The two leaders are putting the emphasis on economic relations, while avoiding in-depth discussion of a 60-year-old territorial dispute.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi signed 12 documents Monday on matters ranging from an anti-terrorism plan to Tokyo's help in dismantling aging Russian nuclear submarines. But Japan and Russia were not able to agree on a statement concerning a territorial dispute.

Mr. Koizumi, after his meeting with the Russian leader, told reporters a wide gap remains between the two countries on the matter.

There had been little expectation that during Mr. Putin's first visit to Japan in five years that any progress would be made concerning the Russian-held Kuril islands. Tokyo calls the islands, which are closer to Japan than Russia, the Northern Territories.

Mr. Putin calls his talks with the Japanese leader amicable, but says there are delicate matters, meaning the territorial dispute, that need to be discussed more thoroughly.

Tokyo insists that for a peace treaty to be signed to formally end World War II, Moscow must give up all the islands, which the Soviet Army seized just after Japan surrendered in 1945. Russia says it is willing to return two islands.

Speaking Monday at an economic cooperation forum Mr. Putin made no mention of the dispute. But he said strained relations could be improved by increasing business ties. Two-way trade currently amounts to a relatively paltry 10 billion dollars.

Speaking to Japanese and Russian business executives, Mr. Putin says Russia will expand a pipeline now under construction to the Pacific Coast, and Japan would eventually receive some of its Siberian crude oil.

Tokyo has feared that China would benefit from the pipeline, at Japan's expense. The first stage of the line is to terminate near China in 2008, hundreds of kilometers from the Pacific coast.

While the Russian president received a cordial welcome from Japanese businessmen, others had less friendly words for him.

Convoys of loudspeaker trucks, driven by ultra-nationalists, parade near the Russian Embassy and try to run police barricades around the hotel where Mr. Putin is staying. The rightists are demanding Moscow return the disputed islands.

Some of the more than seven thousand police on duty have jostled with the demonstrators, and Japanese media report at least two arrests.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs