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Japan-Russia: oil, gas, politics
For the Russian-Japanese relations an economic framework is being built
The political outcome of Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Japan is a topic for discussion, the effectiveness of which depends on the awareness and insight of their participants. But as far as the sphere of the economy is concerned, it is becoming more and more evident. Signed about 70 documents, the degree of their study is different, but the key ones are undoubtedly agreements on cooperation in the oil sector between Rosneft and the largest Japanese companies. And this, by the way, is also politics, big politics.
Let me remind you: according to the Russian oil giant, Rosneft and a consortium of Japanese companies in the Marubeni Corporation, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and INPEX CORPORATION signed an Agreement on the main terms of cooperation for joint exploration, development and production of hydrocarbons for License area in the shelf zone of Russia.
The document in the presence of Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was signed by the CEO of Rosneft Igor Sechin, President and CEO of Marubeni Corporation Fumiya Kokubu, JOGMEC President Keisuke Kuroki and President and CEO of INPEX CORPORATION Toshiaki Kitamura.
Rosneft believes that these agreements confirm the successful implementation of the company's strategy to attract partners to capital-intensive offshore projects. Thus, Rosneft monetizes shares in promising projects and accelerates their development. Involvement of strategic partners-leaders of the global oil and gas industry in the Russian offshore projects will also ensure effective exploration and production of hydrocarbons and share geological risks.
Following the signing of the documents, Igor Sechin said: "The signed agreement is aimed at effective monetization of oil and gas resources, including in the promising Japanese market, and is a logical continuation of the agreements between the Russian President and the Japanese Prime Minister on strengthening and developing Russian-Japanese relations."
A second document was also signed there - the Agreement on Cooperation in the Joint Feasibility Study for the project for the construction of a gas-chemical complex in the Far East of Russia. In accordance with the terms of the signed document, Rosneft, together with Japanese partners, will conduct a world-class feasibility study of a gas chemical complex using advanced Japanese technologies. The new complex will be located in the Far East of Russia. Location location will be determined on the basis of a joint study.
The construction of a gas chemical complex was selected by the Japanese government as one of the projects, the implementation of which will be carried out within the framework of Russian-Japanese cooperation. It is expected that the project will receive financial support from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan.
The topic of oil production in the Far East was always the most important aspect of Russian-Japanese relations. In the 20-s, the restoration of diplomatic relations between the USSR and Japan, which implied in particular the abolition of the Japanese occupation of northern Sakhalin, was preceded by the most difficult negotiations on granting Japan concessions in the Okha area.
In the end, the Soviet government decided to give the Japanese half of the oil fields for a period of 45 years. 20 January, 1925 in Beijing, the Deputy People's Commissar for Foreign Leo Karakhan and the representative of the Japanese side signed the convention "On the basic principles of the relationship between the USSR and Japan," which in fact meant the restoration of diplomatic relations. Two protocols were attached to the convention. The first was the deadline for the withdrawal of Japanese troops from Northern Sakhalin - 15 May 1925. The second - an agreement was reached on the conditions for the Japanese concern "Kita Sagaren Seki Kige Kumiai" to receive a concession for Sakhalin oil. Such a linkage.
By the way, this concession was canceled only in 1943 year, and before that was an important source of oil for Japan, which at that time was at war with the United States.
In the 60-70-ies, on the wave of Soviet-Japanese contacts, Japanese companies again showed a clear interest in Sakhalin hydrocarbons. The reasons are obvious - the need to diversify sources of oil and gas, as well as gravitation to the most geographically close oil-bearing areas. Actually thanks to large-scale projects of economic cooperation, Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 offshore projects were launched during this period, which became vivid examples of mutually beneficial cooperation, despite significant differences in the political sphere.
A new stage can be the agreements put on paper during Putin's current visit to Japan. What is their political meaning?
Russian-Japanese relations need an economic framework. These are, first of all, large-scale projects in the strategic sectors of the two countries. Only they can create the economic interdependence of Russia and Japan, which will make the political dialogue on the most sensitive issues - including the territorial one - uncontested. Hydrocarbons are a proven tool in this approach.
This is how economic cooperation with the PRC, especially in the energy sphere, develops despite all the problems. And it is not for nothing that the president of Russia, referring to the Japanese audience, constantly cites the example of establishing a strategic partnership with the PRC on the basis of large-scale projects. Enumerating achievements, Putin stressed in his conversation with Japanese journalists on the eve of the visit to Tokyo: "Therefore, we can justifiably speak, and I note with great satisfaction that with China we have really friendly relations, and in so many key directions , Without any exaggeration, attitudes that are strategic in nature. "
The task is worthwhile and Russian-Japanese relations lead to the highest possible level of trust. Without Rosneft's projects, this historic matter can not be avoided.