Japan, Russia Discuss Missile Defense, Territory


Tokyo, May 30 (Jiji Press)--Foreign and defense ministers from Japan and Russia Thursday discussed Tokyo's plan to deploy the Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense system and Moscow's military expansion on disputed islands.

The meeting in Tokyo was attended by Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, as well as Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu.

In response to Russian concern over the Aegis Ashore system, Iwaya said it is purely defensive and will pose no threat to Russia.

At a separate meeting with Iwaya, Shoigu expressed concern that the system could have an offensive capability.

At the meeting of the foreign and defense ministers, the Japanese side, referring to Russia's missile exercises and other military activities on the disputed islands, said Moscow's military expansion there is unacceptable from a legal standpoint.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press