Japan, Russia accuse each other of military buildups

TOKYO: Russia and Japan accused one another of navy buildups as their overseas and protection ministers met in Tokyo on Thursday for talks that did not make progress on decades-long island disputes.

Russian International Minister Sergey Lavrov mentioned at a joint information convention after the talks that Russia was involved about Tokyo’s plan to construct a pair of land-based Aegis Ashore missile protection programs, saying they pose a “potential risk to Russia.”

The Aegis Ashore programs, deliberate for deployment in Akita on Japan’s northern coast and in Yamaguchi within the southwest, are a part of Japan’s quickly increasing missile protection system to bolster its potential to counter potential threats from North Korea and China. Beneath tips accepted in December, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s authorities plans to extend purchases of pricey American navy gear together with F-35 stealth fighter jets and cruise missiles as Japan continues to broaden its navy cooperation with the U.S.

Japanese International Minister Taro Kono accused Russia of a navy buildup on Russian-controlled islands claimed by each nations.

The dispute over the islands, which Russia calls the southern Kurils and Japan the Northern Territories, has prevented the 2 nations from signing a peace treaty formally ending their World Struggle II hostilities.

“Our nation’s authorized place doesn’t settle for the missile drills, fighter plane deployment, and enhancement of the navy presence within the Northern Territories,” Kono mentioned.

Japanese Protection Minister Takeshi Iwaya instructed his counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, and Lavrov that the Aegis Ashore interceptors are “purely for defensive functions and by no means to be used to threaten Russia or different nations.”

Lavrov disregarded Kono’s criticism, saying his nation is simply working in its personal territory. “Beneath worldwide legislation, the territory is beneath Russia’s sovereignty and people are Russian navy actions in Russian-held territory,” he mentioned.

Regaining the disputed islands, that are north of Japan’s northern primary island of Hokkaido, has been a precedence for Abe and his conservative base. Abe is raring to make progress on the dispute with Russia and discover alternatives to cooperate in creating oil and fuel and different pure assets.

In November, Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to speed up negotiations primarily based on a 1956 Soviet proposal to return two of the islands to Japan, however progress has since stalled.—AP

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