A decision by Japan to deploy a U.S. missile defense system will damage Moscow’s relations with Tokyo and is a breach by Washington of a landmark arms control treaty, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.
Japan formally decided this month it would expand its ballistic missile defense system with U.S.-made ground-based Aegis radar stations and interceptors in response to a growing threat from North Korean rockets, reports Reuters.
Spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova gestures as she attends a news briefing in Moscow, Russia
“Actions like these are in direct contradiction to the priority of building military and political trust between Russia and Japan, and, unfortunately, will impact in a negative way on the whole atmosphere in bilateral relations, including negotiations over the peace treaty problem,” Zakharova told a weekly briefing.
“In practice, it will mean one more breach of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by the Americans with, in fact, Japan’s assistance”, she said.
Russia and Japan never formally ended their hostilities after World War Two because of a dispute over a chain of islands in the Pacific.
Concluding a peace treaty between Russia and Japan would involve Moscow examining how it could be affected by Tokyo’s security commitments to its allies, Russian President Vladimir Putin said last month.