Speaking Of Asia

Abe and the family legacy over Russia

The unfinished business over the return of four islands off Hokkaido resurfaces as both Russia and Japan take stock of the changing power dynamics in Asia


Walking in the shoes of your father is not always an easy task. The stone that once stuck in the father's footwear can be the same one hobbling the son, three decades later. Just ask Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Mr Abe's father, the late Shintaro Abe, was Japan's foreign minister when Mr Mikhail Gorbachev was president of the Soviet Union. His tenure saw Japan assiduously working to normalise relations with Russia, seeking a peace treaty that would formally end their World War II conflict.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2018, with the headline 'Abe and the family legacy over Russia'. Subscribe