MOSCOW, October 13 (RIA Novosti) - Tokyo keeping a watchful eye on the United States' position in foreign policy, causing misery for the country and may lead to Japan loss of its independence, former Prime Minister of Japan, Yukio Hatoyama said Monday.
"When I was the foreign minister of Japan, the situation was similar – the Japanese government, in particular the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, always had to keep an eye on the position of the United States. By doing this, we – the Japanese diplomacy – will lose our independence, Japan taking such a position will lead to misery, it is a misery for us," Hatoyama said during a meeting with the speaker of the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, Sergei Naryshkin.
Naryshkin in turn said that Russia knew from the very beginning that Japan only joined the sanctions against Moscow under strong pressure from the United States and that the same thing happened to the European Union.
The Russian parliamentarian said that such a situation has a negative impact on bilateral relations.
"Japan is a big and strong country with a developed economy, a country with a highly educated population which has all the means to conduct a fully independent [foreign] policy, independent from its American partners," Naryshkin explained.
He added that Russia is disappointed with the fact that Japan imposed economic sanctions against it and qualifies the sanctions as a tool for political and economic blackmail. He added that Russia will resort to parliamentary diplomacy for developing relations with Japan.
With the deterioration of the situation in Ukraine, Japan, along with the United States, the European Union and other members of the Group of Seven industrialized nations introduced sanctions against Russia over its alleged involvement.
The Japanese sanctions are the softest of the G7 nations as Tokyo is seen as unwilling to ruin relations with Russia.