Defense, Foreign Ministers Of Japan, Russia Meet In Tokyo

Japan PM leaves for Europe for security trade talks

This was stated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov following talks with Japanese officials in Tokyo.

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Russian Federation next month for a summit with President Vladimir Putin, his foreign minister said on Monday, with an aim of advancing his effort to end a territorial spat and conclude a peace treaty.

Earlier this month, North Korea fired four missiles, of which three landed in waters that Japan claims as its exclusive economic zone. The Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, has angered both Russian Federation and China. The countries have said the defense system could spark an even greater arms race.

While the latest round of talks also brought up some issues of contention regarding the deployment of missile defense systems in the region, both parties, while agreeing the next round of talks will be held in Moscow, agreed to cooperate further in areas of defense exchanges.

The United States and South Korea have agreed to install an advanced anti-missile system as a defense against North Korea.

Touchy topics were also discussed, with Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada protesting Russia's increasing military presence on disputed islands off Hokkaido, and her counterpart Sergei Shoigu criticizing a missile defense system deployed in Japan that also involves components owned by the United States.

Russia, meanwhile, took advantage of diplomatic and defence talks with U.S. ally Japan to criticise the development.

In 2015, Russian Federation deployed TOR-M2U rocket systems on the islands, and past year placed the Bastion and Bal coastal defense complexes on the Uturup and Kemashir islands. Meetings were shelved after that due to the crisis in Ukraine, as Japan joined sanctions against Moscow.

Despite the differences, the countries see more room for agreement on joint development of fisheries, tourism and other areas that might help bridge the gap.

Lavrov agreed, saying he believed "this joint development will become an important step to create an appropriate environment for resolving a peace treaty".

Tokyo has prepared a range of offers to Moscow for joint economic projects on Russia's Kuril Islands, according to Japan's national broadcaster NHK.

Japan and Russian Federation have pledged closer economic and security cooperation in so-called "two-plus-two" talks as they look to end a decades-long dispute over a small chain of islands.

The protracted dispute on the sovereignty of Etorofu, Kunashiri and Shikotan islands, and the Habomai islet group, has prevented the two countries from concluding a post-World War II peace treaty.

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