Professor Nobuo Shimotomai, an expert on Russia and CIS politics at Hosei University, said that there appears to be an opportunity to mend Russia's relations with the United States and Japan.
"President Trump has said that he will revise Washington's relations with Moscow. Surely, Europe and the United States have taken a cautious attitude to Russia, but the country's relations with the US and Japan are moving toward a notable improvement," he said. "It has become increasingly likely that a turn in Putin's relations with Abe which took place last year will open the way for a new relationship, involving the US, Japan and Russia."
Professor Nobuo Shimotomai mentioned that there are numerous unresolved issues, but added that Russia appears to be "moving out of isolation."
Trump and Putin have had two telephone conversations, with the second one lasting approximately an hour. The White House described Trump's latest call as "a significant start to improving the relationship between the United States and Russia that is in need of repair," adding that both presidents were hopeful that the two sides "can move quickly" to tackle terrorism and other important issues of mutual concern.
Professor Toshihiko Ueno, a political analyst at Tokyo-based Sophia University, also suggested that the three countries could cultivate cordial relations.
"Unlike Obama, President Trump has adopted a pragmatic approach to Washington's relations with Moscow. They are likely to improve," he said. This is why "it has become easier for Abe to engage in dialogue with Russia. This could have a positive effect on economic cooperation between the two countries and joint economic activities in the Northern Territories."
Russia and Japan have been locked in a dispute over the Kuril Islands since the end of World War II.
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