The Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA) held an online discussion with the Valdai Discussion Club on April 15, 2021.
Experts from both Japan and Russia participated in the discussions, which focused on the transformation of the strategic environment in the Indo-Pacific region and the prospects for Japan-Russia relations.
The Japanese participants pointed out that the concept of the "Indo-Pacific" has emerged in the context of the geopolitical shift toward Asia, and that the strategic partnership between China and Russia is deepening against the backdrop of the confrontation between the US and China, while Japan-Russia cooperation in the increasingly complex international relations of East Asia has great significance for the stable development of the region. It was also pointed out that Japan's current diplomatic stance to make the Indo-Pacific region free and open overlaps with Russia's goal of a "multi-polar world".
The Russian participants noted that, in the Indo-Pacific region, there are parallel trends of bipolarization between the US and China and multipolarization in which the US and China as well as Japan, South Korea, India, and ASEAN countries are actively engaging in diplomacy. For Russia, which seeks to promote multipolarization by strengthening relations with various partners, the establishment of cooperative relations with Japan has great strategic significance. On the other hand, it was also suggested that the Quad, which is being promoted mainly by Japan and the US, may force ASEAN and other Asian countries to choose between the US and China and thus bring about a "New Cold War" in the region.
Please see the following links for the Valdai Discussion Club's report on this event.