TOKYO, January 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Japan’s government would like to extend the current memorandum on cooperation with Russia in the defense sphere. One of the suggestions being regular visits of the defense ministers, the Japan News reports on Monday.Envisaged measures will likely include shoring up joint maneuvers by the Self-Defense Forces and the Russian armed forces. The two governments hope to sign a new memorandum at a meeting of their defense ministers as early as this autumn, the newspaper writes referring to governmental sources.
The main purpose of the revision is to ensure that an agreement reached at talks between the defense ministers in Tokyo last November is put in statutory form. Specific measures to be written into the new memorandum will include each defense minister visiting the other on a regular basis; starting discussions on sending Air Self-Defense Force transport aircraft to Russia for the purpose of promoting exchanges between troops from the two countries; and sharing information related to U.N. peacekeeping activities, the newspaper writes.
Revision of the existing agreement would encourage nurturing of the trust between Japan and Russia and strengthening bilateral cooperation on security. Within the Japanese government, there is also hope that deepening mutual understanding through defense exchanges would lead to resolving the issue of the northern territories in the future, the Japan News reports.