Russia Sees U.S. Forces in Japan as Threat: Envoy
Tokyo, March 28 (Jiji Press)--Russian Ambassador to Japan Mikhail Galuzin on Thursday expressed Moscow's concern over the U.S. military presence in the Asian country.
U.S. forces in Japan would remain a threat to Russia's national security interests no matter which part of Japan they are deployed, Galuzin told a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo.
Russia is apparently concerned that if northwestern Pacific islands at the center of a longstanding territorial row between Tokyo and Moscow are handed over to Japan as a result of bilateral talks on the islands and the conclusion of a peace treaty, the U.S. military would move to deploy its troops on the islands, located off the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido.
Galuzin's remarks suggested that Russia is also worried about the presence of all U.S. troops stationed in Japan.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been reported to have told Russian President Vladimir Putin that there will be no possibility of U.S. forces being deployed on any of the islands even if they are returned to Japan, sources familiar with the matter said.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]