Japan must improve the conditions of its people, including women and elderly, before accepting Syrian refugees. This is what affirmed the Japanese premier Shinzo Abe, answering a question he received from the journalists, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. Abe announced also an allocation of 1.56 billion dollars for people affected by the conflict in Syria and Iraq. “It’s a problem of demography. Before offering hospitality to immigrants or refugees, we must have more activities for women and for the elderly, and we must also increase our birth rate. There are many things we should do before accepting migrants”, explained the premier.
Abe talked in front of the UN General Assembly yesterday. During the five days of permanence in New York, the Japanese premier met the leaders of Kenya, Qatar, Ukraine, Jordan, Brazil, Germany, and India. He did not have any conversations with the US President Barack Obama, yet he spoke with Joe Biden. An eagerly awaited event was his meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin, in programme last Thursday. Peace talks between Moscow and Tokyo have been suspended since 2001 because of the unresolved dispute over the membership of four islands of the Curili archipelago – annexed by Moscow after World War II – whose belonging to Russia is denied by Japan. The islands are located between the north-eastern end of the Japanese island of Hokkaido and the Russian peninsula Kamchatka. An “abnormal” situation, commented Vladimir Putin, “a problem that had not been created by us, but inherited from the past; now we sincerely want to solve it on mutually acceptable terms”. To this regard, Putin will probably make a visit in Japan by the end of this year.