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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08TOKYO3205 2008-11-19 09:42:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tokyo
Cable title:  

RUSSIA FM CRITCIZES JAPAN'S ROLE IN G8 REGARDING

Tags:   PREL PGOV ECON JA RS KN 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 003205 

C O R R E C T E D COPY - ADDRESSEE ADDED

SIPDIS

MOSCOW PASS VLADIVOSTOK
HELSINKI PASS ST. PETERSBURG

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/20/2016
TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON JA RS KN
SUBJECT: RUSSIA FM CRITCIZES JAPAN'S ROLE IN G8 REGARDING
GEORGIA

TOKYO 00003205 001.4 OF 002


Classified By: Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer. Reasons 1.4 (B) (D)



1. (C) Summary. Russian FM Lavrov leveled pointed criticisms
and expressed displeasure with Tokyo's policies toward Russia
during a November 4-5 visit to Japan. The Russian said
Moscow sees little advancement in bilateral relations ) a
fact for which Tokyo is solely responsible, he charged.
Lavrov also criticized Japan's statements on Russian actions
in Georgia and shared strong dissatisfaction with Tokyo's
chairmanship of the G8 process. On the Northern Territories,
MOFA told us Lavrov contradicted the positive tone toward
resolving the status of the disputed region set by President
Medvedev during the July 2008 Lake Toya G8 Summit, and
displayed a negative attitude about the advantages of
entering into negotiations. Japanese government officials
now wonder if the Russian FM meant to "sabotage" Medvedev's
position. Lavrov also discussed the current global economic
turmoil and North Korea. End Summary.



--------------------------


Pointed Displeasure


--------------------------





2. (C) On November 18, Russia Division Principal Deputy
Director Kotaro Otsuki briefed Embassy Tokyo on the November
4-5 visit to Japan of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
During a brief stopover, Lavrov attended an event in
Hakodade City, Hokkaido, commemorating the 150th anniversary
of the founding of a former Russian Consulate. The FM also
delivered a speech at an event hosted by the International
Exchange of Friendship Council before holding a three-hour
meeting with Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone. Their
discussion focused on four major areas: 1) Northern
Territories, 2) Georgia and the G8, 3) the current world-wide
financial crises, and 4) North Korea.



3. (C) During the meeting, the Russian side leveled pointed
criticisms and expressed displeasure with several of Tokyo's
policies. According to Otsuki, Lavrov said Moscow saw little
advancement in bilateral cooperation between the two
countries ) a situation for which Tokyo was solely
responsible, he charged. Otsuki contrasted the atmospherics
of the just-completed ministerial with those of previous
high-level discussions, which usually ended with diplomatic
statements papering over unresolved differences. Otsuki
noted Japanese officials conclude, as a result, that Russia
is unhappy about Tokyo's response to Moscow's summer invasion
of Georgia.



--------------------------


Northern Territories


--------------------------





4. (C) According to the official written statement on the
visit on MOFA's official Web site, Lavrov offered support for
remarks made by President Dmitry Medvedev on the margins of
the July 2008 Lake Toya G8 Summit, in which the Russian
President said Moscow wants to settle the Northern
Territories (NT) issue and is determined to advance
discussions. According to Otsuki, however, Lavrov surprised
Japanese officials by contradicting the positive tone of
Medvedev's message and appeared to be "negative toward the
advantages of entering into negotiations." Nakasone pointed
out that Lavrov's attitude appeared to be inconsistent with
that of the Russian President, and expressed some
"dissatisfaction" of his own with how Russian officials had
been dealing with the NT issue. Lavrov countered that his
views were the same as the President. Otsuki stated that the
Japanese side found "Lavrov's statement unhelpful in terms of
advancing the relationship." Japanese government officials
are speculating whether the Russian FM had deliberately
intended to "sabotage" Medvedev's position.


TOKYO 00003205 002.4 OF 002




--------------------------


Georgia


--------------------------





5. (C) Lavrov told Nakasone Moscow was "critical of Japan's
evaluation and statements on Russian behavior" with regard to
the invasion of Georgia, Otsuki reported. The Russian FM
also "shared his strong dissatisfaction with the G8 process,"
while noting "Japan's chairmanship was not helpful in
creating an atmosphere in which to develop the bilateral
relationship." Lavrov presented a paper on the Georgian
conflict containing three main points:

-- Russia had been forced to act to protect the people of
Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

-- Moscow will obey international law.

-- Russian officials hope to create a partnership with Japan
in the international arena based on mutual understanding.



6. (C) Nakasone replied that "Russia's unilateral behavior
with regard to Abkhazia and South Ossetia did not help
efforts to increase international security," and that Russian
behavior was not consistent with its responsibilities as a G8
member. Otsuki confided that Japanese officials were
concerned about Moscow's attempt to link Tokyo's chairmanship
of the G8 to the bilateral relationship. Otsuki said
Japanese officials are puzzled over the inconsistency between
Lavrov's critical approach during the visit and his stated
desire to create an international partnership with Tokyo.



--------------------------


Global Financial Turmoil


--------------------------





7. (C) Lavrov offered a simple and clear message on the
financial situation, Otsuki noted. Medvedev appears to be
interested in participating in the reform of the
international financial system. The Russian FM presented a
paper detailing Moscow's strong desire to participate in the
reform and decision-making processes, with the goal,
according to Lavrov, of producing a new financial system.



--------------------------


North Korea


--------------------------





8. (C) Lavrov noted that the North Korean Foreign Minister
briefed Russian officials on the United States-DPRK nuclear
verification deal during a visit to Moscow just prior to
Lavrov's arrival in Tokyo. The Russian FM noted the DPRK
view on the verification regime differed from that of the
United States. Moscow believes the IAEA will play an
important role in the verification mechanism. Lavrov
expressed willingness to help Japan with the abduction issue.
However, Russia would work through its own channels and is
concerned the abduction issue might be an obstacle to
advancing the Six-Party Talks process.



--------------------------



--------------------------


2008 Summit Meetings: Medvedev Maybe; Putin Probably Not


--------------------------



--------------------------





9. (C) Plans for a bilateral meeting on the margins of the
November APEC meeting in Lima between Medvedev and PM Taro
Aso are under coordination, Otsuki advised. He noted a
possible visit to Tokyo by President Vladimir Putin, which
both sides have been discussing since the July G-8 meeting,
might be difficult to organize before the end of 2008.
(Note: Japanese press reports on November 20 indicate Putin's
visit has been put off until early 2009.)
SCHIEFFER