Merkel allegedly 'Proposed NATO Membership to Japan' in March 2015. (JapanNews).
German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly told Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe last year that his country could joint NATO counting on her support.
“We recognize the importance of maintaining dialogue with Russia.” This was inserted in a joint communique from the Group of Seven foreign ministers’ meeting held in Hiroshima at the Japanese government’s desire.
Ever since Russia annexed Crimea in southern Ukraine in March 2014, the G-7 nations have continued to impose sanctions against Russia. Among these countries, the United States is particularly distrustful of Russia and U.S. President Barack Obama even gave bitter but sincere advice to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who maintains a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The word “dialogue” was incorporated in the joint communique, according to a Japan-Russia diplomatic source, because “if Abe visits Russia before the G-7 Ise-Shima Summit to make progress in negotiations over the northern territories, Japan can claim that his visit will not cause disarray among the G-7 nations.”
The northern territories issue is a weighty task that Abe has been focusing on.
In March last year, visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel made an unexpected proposal to Abe during a dinner meeting.
“Shinzo, why not join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization?” Merkel asked. “I can convince British Prime Minister Cameron and French President Hollande.”Japan and Russia have long been caught in a dispute over the disputed islands referred to as the Northern Territories by Tokyo and the Kuril Islands by Moscow.
Abe reportedly said if Japan joined now, negotiations with Russia over the territories would stop. Read the full story here.