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Perspectives of Japan and North Korea on Ukraine

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Japan is increasingly adopting a Western-oriented and proactive approach. This has been evident through its G7 [1] presidency and temporary membership in the United Nations General Assembly. [2] Consequently, Japan has been able to bring its own agenda to international platforms, particularly aimed at countering China and North Korea

It can be argued that Japan, despite having a pacifist constitution, has become more proactive in the face of the mentioned threats. After all, Japan is the world’s third-largest economy, following the United States and China. [3] Furthermore, this situation also serves the interests of the Western bloc, led by the United States and NATO, in trying to gain influence in deterring China’s encirclement and curbing North Korea’s nuclear activities in the Asia-Pacific region. Japan’s new policy thus opens up a space for Western countries in the region.

However, it can also be argued that these activities may have adverse consequences for regional security equations, leading to increased security dilemmas in the region. Furthermore, these activities may also be provocative for Pyongyang and Beijing, possibly leading to a potential hot conflict in the region in the future.

Recent developments can also be interpreted in this context. Japan’s consolidation of its anti-Russia stance can be seen as part of this strategy. This can be attributed to its pro-Western orientation and changing geopolitical dynamics. Additionally, considering that a blow to Russia in Ukraine could send a message to China via Taiwan, this situation is also in Japan’s interest.

In the Asia-Pacific region, there is significant competition between China and Japan. The containment and suppression of China are also significant regional interests for Tokyo. Japan’s growing Western perspective suggests that the country could become a key player in this regard

On the other hand, North Korea maintains close dialogue with Russia, mainly due to its anti-Western stance, including opposition to the United States and NATO. North Korea often sends messages of cooperation to Russia. [4] Moreover, there have been allegations that Moscow has provided arms to North Korea during the Russia-Ukraine War, which further demonstrates dialogue between these countries.

For these reasons, North Korea is a country that supports Russia both in the Ukraine War and in global issues. This explains why it is not surprising that North Korea opposes the weapons aid provided by the United States and the West to Ukraine. Pyongyang fundamentally follows a foreign policy process based on anti-Western sentiment.

In conclusion, it can also be argued that Russia’s support from North Korea may damage Russia’s legitimacy. North Korea is a country isolated from the global system by the West and subjected to numerous sanctions. Moreover, its growing nuclear power and increasing nuclear tests pose serious security concerns both regionally and globally.


[1] “G7 Leaders Confront Spectre of Nuclear Conflict on Visit to Hiroshima Memorial”, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/may/19/g7-leaders-confront-spectre-of-nuclear-conflict-on-visit-to-hiroshima-memorial, (Erişim Tarihi: 06.09.2023).

[2] “Japan Seeking 2032-33 Nonpermanent Membership of U. N. Security Council”, The Japan Times, https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2023/05/23/national/politics-diplomacy/security-council-membership/, (Erişim Tarihi: 06.09.2023).

[3] “Top 10 Largest Economies in the World”, Business Insider India, https://www.businessinsider.in/top-10-largest-economies-in-the-world/articleshow/70547252.cms, (Erişim Tarihi: 06.09.2023).

[4] “G7 Leaders Confront Spectre of Nuclear Conflict on Visit to Hiroshima Memorial”, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/may/19/g7-leaders-confront-spectre-of-nuclear-conflict-on-visit-to-hiroshima-memorial, (Erişim Tarihi: 06.09.2023).

Zeki Talustan GÜLTEN
Zeki Talustan GÜLTEN
Zeki Talustan Gülten graduated from Yalova University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of International Relations in 2021 with his graduation thesis titled "American Foreign Policy" and from Anadolu University, Open Education Faculty, Department of Foreign Trade in 2023. Gülten, who is currently pursuing her Master's Degree with Thesis at Marmara University Institute of Social Sciences, Department of International Relations, was a student at the Faculty of International and Political Studies at Lodz University for a semester within the framework of the Erasmus+ program during her undergraduate education. Working as an Asia-Pacific Research Assistant at ANKASAM, Gülten's main areas of interest are American Foreign Policy, Asia-Pacific and International Law. Gülten is fluent in English.