Russia, Japan: Representatives Struggle to See Eye-to-Eye On Military Matters

Aug 1, 2018 | 20:37 GMT

Japan and Russia held their third 2+2 meeting of foreign and defense ministers on Aug. 1 in Moscow. Agreements were made on several points related to the ongoing ministerial talks and respective approaches to dealing with North Korea, but discussions failed to make progress on some more contentious military issues. During the talks, officials planned annual 2+2 vice-ministerial meetings, tabled two upcoming September meetings between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin, organized a Russian port visit and arranged for a Japanese business delegation to the disputed Southern Kurils. Notably, Russia offered to help resolve the issue of North Korean abductions of Japanese nationals. However, the two countries were less aligned in other areas: Japan asked Russia to show restraint in military buildups in the disputed Kuril Islands, while Russia expressed concern about Japan's planned deployment of the Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defense System....

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