Asian CrosstalkONE STORY told FROM DIFFERENT ANGLES
Despite the just concluded meeting between Abe and Putin, the Kremlin is not expected to make any major compromises over territorial controversies any time soon, due to the nation's upcoming election next year and the recent protests and demonstrations across Russia.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe clearly has his heart set on closer relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Japanese leader's visit to Moscow on April 27 marked his 17th meeting with Putin, a remarkable total even in this era of incessant summitry.
Russia is far less enthusiastic about solving bilateral issues -- such as the inking of a peace treaty -- than Japan, and the differences in priorities were on full display at the post-summit news conference.
It is possible that Tokyo’s fervor in publicly cajoling Moscow may become less vigorous and more low-key in order to test the Kremlin’s bargaining power after the non-eventuated U.S.-Russian normalization under Trump.