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Resetting Russo/Japanese Diplomatic Relations

By: Professor Dr. Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai  
 Published January 29th, 2012

The entry of the United States in Asia/ Pacific geo-politics and China’s resistance of the move may have caused Russia to re-kindle its interest in the diplomatic affairs of South-East Asia. This would assist China to strengthen its predominant status in the region.

After the Russo/Japanese wars of 1905 over the Kuril Islands and the alliance between Japan, Italy and Germany, during the Second World War (1939-1941), the Soviet leaders Josef Stalin and later Nikita Khrushev, turned their backs on Japan.

Even Japanese prosperity and their international financial status, did not impress the Gorbachov and Yeltsin administrations. The world has since changed and states must co-operate in areas of common economic interest. States now do brush aside old animosities, in pursuit of mutual advantages.

Antiquated quarrels over small islands and other considerations should no longer obscure diplomatic relations. Sergei Lavrov’s diplomatic skills were on display in Tokyo. The Japanese provided a cordial diplomatic atmosphere for meaningful discussions, which may now be regular occurrences.

With Vladimir Putin on the campaign trail, it adds up to good politics to mend fences with neighbours. Japan’s unfortunate season with natural disasters, makes it necessary for Japan to seek a little help from neighbours.

Russia is a nuclear power and could assist with logistical materials and advice. The New Age demands progressive thinking. Those, who still live by ideological polarization of world affairs, will soon become irrelevant.

The CNN, which claims to be the “World’s News Leader” seems to indulge in stoking the embers of discontent, reporting slanted news that favour allies of the strong states of the world.

The Russian diplomatic foray into Asia, could lead to an alliance of Japan/Russia/ China, which could lead to increase in trade relations, tourism and exchange of regular contacts. Japanese business men have long nursed the ambition to invest in Russia, especially in Russian oil, industrial goods and other minerals.

Russia can benefit from Japanese technology and hi-tech know-how. A new economic block in South East Asia, will strengthen the existing BRICS arrangement.

I admonish both Russia and Japan to increase their economic interests in Nigeria. The impact will accelerate Nigeria’s transformation agenda, which has stalled because of internal state dynamics. Factories that can facilitate our growth should be sited in Nigeria.

Location of thermoplastics companies in the Northern and Southern states will be very useful. Massive investment in the agricultural sector will improve food production and ensure food security and also minimize food importation into Nigeria. Our soil is arable and many crops grow enthusiastically yielding returns to investors. These are the type of messages Nigerian diplomacy should take to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs world-wide. “Ask and you shall be given”

Russian and Japanese universities may wish to open their doors to Nigerian students or build university outposts in Nigeria. In discussing this idea with Professor Igor Babakaev, a former class-mate of mine in Abuja recently, he wondered why any government would allow universities in a developing country like Nigeria, to be closed for over forty-five days, as a result of government’s failure to implement ASUU-Government .Agreement.

Our diplomacy is cellular. It has not defined its operational strategies, especially in the economic field. Our diplomacy responds only to teleguided responses, as we saw during the Libyan crisis. It has been widely reported that the NTC has not been able to find its authority.

That the rebel-government is doing exactly what the Kaddafi regime was condemned for and that the detainees and arrested pro-Kaddafi fighters are being tortured in detention. We should n issue a statement condemning these vicious actions that violate the 1949 Geneva Conventions on how not to treat prisoners of war?

Russia and China are opposed to the UN suggestion of intervention in Syria. It is not because what is going on in Syria is not tragic and condemnable, but it is as a result of the violation of the UN mandate on Libya, which led to regime change and the death of Kaddafi. Experience has shown that it is unwise to stoke the embers of rebellion, because what goes around, comes around.

Now that every state has its political mal-contents harassing their governments world-wide, no government can be seen meddling in other states internal affairs, without fuelling aggression and violent action against the state.

Russia and Japan can prepare a resolution that can send in United Nations Mediation Forces as Canada did during the Egypt/Israeli crisis in the 1950s.

On a lighter note, I have once advocated that Japan should sign a hundred years treaty with Niger, Chad and the Sudan for territorial acquisition, so that they can move away from their vulnerable, volcanic territory. All these states will stand to benefit mutually.

I offer to start the negotiations at once.

As Putin returns to the Russian presidency, I admonish him to embark on strategic African diplomacy. No-one is capable any more to tell African States, who to do business with.

Since the Chinese have succeeded in their economic ventures in Africa, Japan and Russia should look to Africa. The progress in Equatorial Guinea, Angola, South Africa, is a pointer to the new African spirit of entrepreneurship.

The Rouble and the Yuan, the Dollar and the Pound are already to be found in African Central Banks, fostering African prosperity. “Things that are equal to the same thing are equal to one another.” Pythagoras.

Professor Dr. Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai is the Academic Chancellor of BOSAS INTERNATIONAL LAW BUREAU, Fugar/Abuja.

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