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The Russian Vector of Japan’s Policy in the Arctic

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The article addresses the Russian vector of Japan’s Arctic policy. The main areas of Japan’s interest in cooperation with Russia in the Arctic region are energy, transport, and security. The article focuses on the developments that took place in these areas in 2019-2020, which have not yet received proper coverage in Russian historiography. Pursuing the policy of diversification of energy supply sources, Japan turns its attention to the Russian Arctic as one of the promising areas of cooperation in the gas sector. In 2019, Japanese companies signed a contract for the purchase of a 10-percent stake in the Arctic LNG-2 project, which provides for Japanese investment worth almost $3 billion. As one of the primary areas of cooperation with Russia, Japan also considers participation in the transport and logistics development of the Northern Sea Route, which is indispensable for the implementation of gas production projects on the Yamal Peninsula. In addition, Japan is interested in establishing clear and stable “game rules” in the Arctic, and, in this sense, the security sphere in the Arctic region is becoming one of the most important areas of cooperation with Russia. The Russian vector of Japan’s Arctic policy received an additional impetus in connection with the policy of rapprochement with Moscow conducted by the Abe cabinets in 2012-2020. The Arctic projects have become an integral part of the Eight-Point Plan, contributing to Japan’s energy and economic security. Cooperation in the Arctic is directly linked not only to the projects of the development of the Northern Sea Route and Arctic projects for the extraction and liquefaction of natural gas, but also to bilateral projects in the fields of “green energy”, development of port infrastructure, urban construction, fish processing, ecology, improving people’s living conditions, medicine, tourism, etc.

About the Author

D. V. Streltsov
Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University)
Russian Federation


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For citations:

Streltsov D.V. The Russian Vector of Japan’s Policy in the Arctic. Russian Japanology Review. 2021;4(2):5-28.

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