TOKYO, April 4 (Itar-Tass) — The United States in various regions of the world is creating elements of its missile defence that are gradually making up a global system, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview with journalists in Tokyo on Wednesday. He held consultations on strategic issues with his Japanese counterpart Koro Bessho. They were attended by representatives of the Russian Defence Ministry, which, according to the diplomat, “made the consultations highly professional from the defence viewpoint.”
“We realise,” Sergei Ryabkov said, “that the US-Japanese military-political alliance is important for both countries. We have no illusions about the fact that this alliance is valuable for Washington and Tokyo. However, we pay attention to and understand the objectives Washington pursues in enhancing its presence in the Asia-Pacific region. The fact that various elements of the US missile defense system are gradually making up a global system, arouses Russia’s major concern.”
Japan and the United States conduct joint research in the missile defense sphere, in particular, they together upgrade the SM-3 high-speed long-range missile, which can shoot down ballistic missiles outside the Earth’s atmosphere. Tokyo has recently amended its legislation to allow the use of these missiles in other regions, including within the missile defense systems in Europe.
With the help of the United States, Japan also creates its own regional missile defense. It is based on the use of warships with the Aegis computerized guidance systems and the SM-3 missile. The second echelon of the Japanese defense comprises the US ground-based Patriot PAC-3 systems that can intercept near-Earth air targets.