Japan Protests Russia's Missile Deployment to Northern Territories

Japan Protests Russia's Missile Deployment to Northern Territories

   Tokyo, March 20 (Jiji Press)--Japan lodged on Monday a protest against Russia's deployment of land-to-ship missiles and troops on the Russian-occupied four northwestern Pacific islands, called Northern Territories in Japan.
   The Japanese government finds it "regrettable" for Russia to build up military capabilities on the four islands "that are inherent territories of our nation," Defense Minister Tomomi Inada told her Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, in Tokyo.
   She also pointed out that the environment surrounding Japan's national security has become tougher due to progress in North Korea's missile and nuclear development and China's continued expansion in the East and South China Seas.
   Meanwhile, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov agreed at their meeting in the capital the same day that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Russia in late April to have a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
   The Inada-Shoigu and Kishida-Lavrov talks preceded a meeting of foreign and defense ministers of the two countries also in Tokyo.

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