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Japan Comes Out in Support of Belt and Road as SCO Meets

June 2017

Japan's place in the World Land-Bridge. Proposed new tunnels are circled.

June 8, 2017 (EIRNS)—Asked today whether President Putin’s staff will be glued to their television sets watching fired FBI head James Comey’s U.S. Senate testimony, Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin has no special interest in it, because Russia has another international agenda. "The summit of the heads of state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) being held today and tomorrow in Astana is of far greater interest to us," he said.

"He’s right," said Lyndon LaRouche.

The SCO heads of state are meeting in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana, and will be expanding the membership of the organization for the first time since its founding in 1996. When India and Pakistan are brought in during this summit, the SCO will have expanded to cover about 60% of the entire Eurasian landmass, and 43% of the world’s population. Presidents Putin and Xi Jinping met in Astana yesterday; their discussion emphasized the Korean problem. Indian President Modi arrived today. He will meet with President Putin and may meet with President Xi as well.

In a related development which is likewise part of the New Paradigm for which Lyndon and Helga LaRouche have been fighting for almost half a century, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, speaking June 5 at a "Future of Asia" conference in Tokyo, offered official Japanese support, for the first time, to the Belt and Road initiative—although joined with conditions such as "transparent and fair" procurement. The next day, China’s Global Times newspaper, owned by People’s Daily of the Chinese ruling party, published an unsigned editorial, "Abe’s Belt and Road Change of Heart a Welcome Step." Global Times noted Abe’s reservations, but wrote that "Japan used to hold the most passive attitude toward the China-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Belt and Road initiative, two signature programs that are symbolic of China’s rise. Abe’s new attitude reflects a certain change in Tokyo’s mentality, and this change is welcome.

"The normalization of bilateral relations depends primarily on the normalization of the two sides’ vision and mentality, which is a hard task for both.... No matter how far Tokyo will go in the right direction, China should promote this change and make the change stick, which is in line with China’s national interests."