by Joe Lindsley | editor, Lviv Now
In an interview with Japan Today/The Yomiuri Shimbun, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who led Japan from 2006-07 and 2012-2020, called for Tokyo to use diplomacy to sever Beijing-Moscow cooperation. And he worried about Washington’s position on Ukraine.
«We cannot overlook the military tensions surrounding Ukraine, either,» he told a news organization that publishes in both Japanese and English. «The situation surrounding Ukraine is linked to the one in Taiwan.
«Ukraine was formerly part of the Soviet Union, with many ethnic Russians living in the country. Taiwan was once under the jurisdiction of China, too. If the West does not block Russia from invading Ukraine, how might Chinese President Xi Jinping, witnessing such a development in the West, move against Taiwan?»
Abe was critical of the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden.
President Biden «said that the U.S. will not unilaterally use force to defend Ukraine from Russia, and other U.S. officials have said force is completely off the table,» he noted, before averring that Washington made a strategic blunder:
«But this was probably a mistake in terms of diplomatic strategy. The stability of the world community is maintained with the overwhelming military power of the United States, as well as the sense of danger that there is no telling what sort of retaliation one would invite by doing something bad. The United States must never quickly make clear that ‘we won’t do anything.’»
Meanwhile, he called for increased Japanese diplomatic efforts with Moscow. He thinks Tokyo could be a good influence on Russia, which lately has been very close to totalitarian Beijing:
«I think Japan should use diplomacy to sever the concerted efforts between China and Russia, and move ahead with improving its ties with Russia.»
Lviv Now is an English-language website for Lviv, Ukraine’s «tech-friendly cultural hub.» It is produced by Tvoe Misto («Your City») media-hub, which also hosts regular problem-solving public forums to benefit the city and its people.