Today: Sunday, 26 March 2023 year

In his memoirs, Abe called Putin a sincere person.

In his memoirs, Abe called Putin a sincere person.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recalled that Russian President Vladimir Putin gives the impression of a “cold” person, but in fact he is sincere and loves black humor.

In his memoir, which came out last week, 7 months after Abe’s death, and was structured as an interview, Abe, who met with the Russian leader 27 times, answered the question of whether Putin is a person with “power sides” in life, what he seems to be.

“Putin looks cold, but contrary to expectations, he is sincere and not so cold. He likes black humor,” Abe recalls.

Abe recalls the backstory of his historic visit to Moscow in May 2013, just six months after he took over as prime minister in the Japanese government.


He recalls that Putin became president in May 2000, and in April of the same year, Yoshiro Mori took over as prime minister in Japan.

Mori was very interested in the problem of the “Northern Territories”, as Kunashir, Iturup, Shikotan and Habomai are called in Japan, and he wanted to push the negotiations on a peace treaty with Russia at least a little. However, Mori only served a year as prime minister, and Junichiro Koizumi, who replaced him in this post, “unfortunately, unlike Mori, did not feel such a passion for Japanese-Russian relations, as a result of which these relations cooled,” writes Abe.
Abe’s first meeting with Putin took place during Abe’s first term in Vietnam on the sidelines of APEC in November 2006.

According to Abe, he wanted to visit Russia next year in order to “at least slightly advance Japanese-Russian relations, as it was under Mori,” but due to deteriorating health, he was forced to step down as prime minister.
Abe was able to visit Russia in April 2013 during his second term as prime minister.

“Then, just before the visit, I appointed Mori as the prime minister’s special representative and sent him to Russia so that he would meet with Putin and pave the way for (we) to approach the summit. We wrote about the “northern territories” in a joint statement by Japan and Russia that we will strive “for a solution that can be accepted by both sides.” This visit to Moscow was for me the starting point for negotiations on the territorial issue,” writes Abe.


Relations between Russia and Japan have been overshadowed by the absence of a peace treaty for many years. In 1956, the USSR and Japan signed a Joint Declaration in which Moscow agreed to consider the possibility of transferring Habomai and Shikotan to Japan after the conclusion of a peace treaty, and the fate of Kunashir and Iturup was not affected. The USSR hoped that the Joint Declaration would put an end to the dispute, while Japan considered the document only part of the solution to the problem, not renouncing claims to all the islands.