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TOKYO, March 20. /TASS/. Japan and Russia need to deepen mutual understanding amid growing security threats in the Asian-Pacific region, Japanese top diplomat Fumio Kishida said opening the two-plus-two meeting of the Japanese and Russian foreign and security ministers.
"It is very important to deepen mutual understanding between Japan and Russia, particularly taking into consideration North Korea’s nuclear and missile threat," he said.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula started to escalate in early 2016, when Pyongyang conducted an underground nuclear test and later test-fired a ballistic missile. In September 2016, North Korea conducted another nuclear test, besides, within one year, around 20 missiles were test-fired. On March 6, 2017, North Korea test-fired four ballistic missiles which fell in Japan’s exclusive economic zone. On March 7, the US Pacific Command announced that the United States had started to deploy the THAAD missile systems to South Korea despite the opposition of Russia and China.
On Monday, Tokyo is hosting a two-plus-two meeting of the Japanese and Russian foreign and defense ministers. Before the two-plus-two meeting, the ministers held bilateral consultations.
The two-plus-two ministerial meeting is being held after a three-year break.
The parties are expected to discuss issues related to global and regional security. The Japanese ministers plan to raise the issue of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. The deployment of the US missile defense system to the region will also be discussed.