Japan Walks Fine Line Over Ukraine Issue

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Russia’s President Vladimir Putin meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Bocharov Ruchei residence in Sochi, on Feb. 8. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Toko Sekiguchi  writes:  Standing with its western allies, Japan has criticized Russia over its decision to put troops in Ukraine, but at the same time has taken a softer line than others amid recently improved ties with Moscow.

Japan, whose diplomacy under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has focused on ameliorating ties with President Vladimir Putin’s administration, did join in a statement from the Group of Seven industrialized nations that it was suspending preparations for the scheduled G-8 Summit in Sochi in June. The G-7 statement said that this would stay in place “until the environment comes back where the G-8 is able to have meaningful discussion.”

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