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Russian Defense Ministry hopes Japan corrects approaches to cooperation

April 21, 2014, 12:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Japan’s Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera expressing concern about “frequent” flights of Russian military air forces over the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean
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Fighter jets at Kadena Air Base in Japan

Fighter jets at Kadena Air Base in Japan

© AP Photo/Greg Baker

MOSCOW, April 21. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry hopes the episode where Japanese fighters intended interception of Russian planes will be a reason for correcting Japan’s approaches to cooperation with the Russian military, Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov told reporters on Monday.

“The mass media quote Japan’s Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera expressing concern about “frequent” flights of Russian military air forces over the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean,” he said. “They report that on April 14 four Japanese fighters headed for interception of Russian planes.”

The defense minister noted the planes of the Russian Air Forces acted in strict compliance with regulations of the international law “and did not cross any borders, the flights did not cause threat to anyone.”

“Here, it is time to mention that defense authorities use in their cooperation Prevention of Dangerous Military Activities Agreements. The agreements offer organisation of communication channels and interaction mechanisms to eliminate without delays concerns about military activities of each other near national borders,” he continued.

As the Russian Air Forces make regular planned flights in the region in 2013, the Russian military authority supported suggestions from the Japanese counterparts and agreed to launch talks on drafting a prevention of dangerous military activities agreement. The decision was formalised as an order to the military authorities following a strategic two-plus-two dialogue in Tokyo, he said.

“We supposed the agreement could be to the interests of both countries. At the same time, in mid March we were surprised to learn from Japan’s foreign ministry that Tokyo unilaterally stops the joint work on the agreement,” Antonov said, expressing regret “in our counterparts’ approaches prevailed a certain “Western” solidarity, where the national security interests were sacrificed.”

“We hope the episode of April 14 will become a reason for the Japanese counterparts to correct their approaches to cooperation with the Russian defence ministry and to resuming the terminated work. We are ready for it,” he said in conclusion.

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