Putin Voices Concern over U.S. Missile Defense Systems in Japan
Moscow, Dec. 20 (Jiji Press)--Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his concern over the planned deployment of U.S. missile defense systems in Japan, at his annual year-end press conference on Thursday.
The Russian leader, at the same time, stressed again that his country aims to conclude a World War II peace treaty with Japan.
At a meeting in Singapore last month, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Putin agreed to spur peace treaty negotiations based on the 1956 Japan-Soviet joint declaration, which stipulates that two of four northwestern Pacific islands at the center of the two countries' territorial row be handed over to Japan after the conclusion of a peace treaty. Abe is slated to visit Russia early next year.
Despite the agreement, however, the Russian side could maintain its tough stance on the territorial issue, due to Japan's security alliance with the United States, observers said.
During the press conference, Putin said security issues are extremely important in the peace treaty negotiations.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]