Russia Still Worried after Japan’s Missile Defense Policy Change


Moscow, Jan. 18 (Jiji Press)--Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov offered a view Monday that Russia remains worried after Japan decided last month to build Aegis system-equipped destroyers as a substitute for an Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense system, whose introduction has been abandoned.

A missile fired from the Sea of Japan can reach a sizable portion of Russian territory, Lavrov told an online press conference.

During Tokyo-Moscow peace treaty negotiations, including talks on their territorial row over four Russian-held northwestern Pacific islands, Russia repeatedly expressed concerns over Japan’s plan at the time to introduce the Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense system, saying such a system is a potential threat for Russia as it can be converted for use to make attacks.

Touching on Japan’s policy shift in Monday’s press conference, Lavrov said Russia’s concerns continue as long as Japan is allied with the United States, which regards Russia as an enemy.

Lavrov also said Russia has not received a reply from Japan about security-related concerns expressed by Moscow during the peace treaty negotiations with Tokyo.

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