News   /   More   /   Russia   /   Editor's Choice

Russia wary of potential Japanese military buildup near its borders

File photo of Japanese troops (Photo by AFP)

Russia warns it could take retaliatory steps against potential military buildup by Japan near a set of islands that are disputed by both countries.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko made the remarks on Tuesday in an interview with Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency.

Last month, Japanese broadcaster NHK cited the country’s defense ministry as alleging that Tokyo could deploy "supersonic missiles" on the island of Hokkaido.

The island is located fewer than 10 kilometers (six miles) from the archipelago that is known in Russia as the Kurils and in Japan as the Northern Territories.

Rudenko said Tokyo’s plan to deploy the missiles on Hokkaido posed a “serious challenge.” 
"If such practices continue, we will be forced to implement appropriate retaliatory measures in order to block the military threats Russia faces," the diplomat added. 

"We consider Tokyo’s activities [to be] a serious challenge to the security of our country and the Asia-Pacific as a whole," Rudenko stated.

Russia and Japan have not formally ended World War Two hostilities because of their standoff over islands, seized by the Soviet Union at the end of the war.

Russia, itself, has had military bases on the Kuril Islands since World War II and has deployed missile systems there.

The Russian official also regretted that Japan's "anti-Russian course" had made peace treaty talks impossible.

"It is absolutely obvious that it is impossible to discuss the signing of such a document with a state that takes openly unfriendly positions and allows itself direct threats against our country," Rudenko said.

Back in 2017, Japan's then-prime minister Shinzo Abe revised a pacifist constitution that had been in place since 1947.

Speaking at the time, Abe said he wanted to make "explicit the status" of the country’s self-defense forces, as Japan’s military is known, by amending the constitution.

Rudenko also condemned the "expedited militarization" of Japan and the "unprecedented" increase in its military budget.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku