Russian Federation offers Japan to sign peace treaty to end formal WWII hostilities

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (2R) and China's President Xi Jinping (R) attend the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on September 12, 2018.

Abe praised his meeting with Xi, saying they held "highly significant talks regarding Japan-China relations and the various issues that we face together". And U.S. sanctions on Russian Federation have played a role in driving Russian Federation and China closer together.

The visit also comes as China is reaching out to trade partners amid a tariff war with the United States. First of all, people here are nice and warm.

China is sending 3,200 troops to take part in Russia's vast Vostok (East) military exercises this month. This phasing is politically unpalatable to Tokyo, which would fear losing "what little leverage it has vis-a-vis Russian Federation after the signing of a peace treaty", according to Temple University Japan associate professor James Brown, who specializes in Tokyo-Moscow relations.

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The historic rivals are looking forward to friendly relations with each other amid pressure from Washington, which is fighting a trade war with China and levelling new sanctions on Russian Federation.

Calling China and Russian Federation good neighbors and good partners that are linked by mountains and rivers and pull together in times of trouble, Xi said the peoples of China and Russian Federation have helped each other and shared weal and woe, leaving many touching stories to tell.

It's not always clear sailing, though.

Japanese and Chinese officials have been discussing private sector cooperation in third countries, with China believed eager for Japanese firms to take part in its Belt and Road Initiative of infrastructure and trade links between China and Eurasia.

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Trutnev, who is also the Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District, noted the deals which were signed at previous forums, saying that in 2015 "the figure was 1.3 trillion rubles ($18.86 billion) while a year ago it rose to 2.5 trillion rubles ($36.27 billion)". Chinese companies see Russian Federation as a supplier which won't come under any new USA tariffs.

But he has since softened his rhetoric and called on China to press North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programmes. "China wanted to appear as helpful to the USA and was imposing a lot of (United Nations) sanctions and was pretty strict by Chinese standards, whereas it was Russian Federation that provided a lot of channels for (North) Korea to violate sanctions".

Against this backdrop of concerns over rising U.S. tensions, warmer ties between Xi and Putin have been exhaustively covered by domestic media in both countries.

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