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Russian military planning to mind missile defense systems’ deployment in Japan - diplomat

"Once again we are calling on the Japanese counterparts to consider whether it is in their interests to become involved in violating the INF Treaty," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said

MOSCOW, December 30. /TASS/. Russia will mind it its military planning the deployment of missile defense systems in Japan, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Saturday.

According to him, Moscow has seen the statement from the Japanese foreign authority, claiming the missile defense systems, to be deployed in that country, would be controlled from Tokyo and is not threatening Russia or any other neighboring countries.

"It is well known that Japan has been involved in organization of the Asian segment of the US global missile defense system. Back in 2006, the U.S. and Japan inked an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in missile defense. Under this agreement, the countries have been working on newest generation of anti-missile systems. This means that technically and functionally the complexes, deployed in Japan, are similar to the U.S. systems," Ryabkov said.

"The fact similar complexes now may appear also next to Russia's eastern borders means a new situation for us, which, of course, we cannot ignore in our military planning," the Foreign Ministry quoted the deputy minister as saying. "Once again we are calling on the Japanese counterparts to consider whether it is in their interests to become involved in violating the INF Treaty."

The countermissiles to be used in the complexes in Japan are similar to those which launch both long-and medium-range countermissiles, he continued. "The U.S. has been deploying them at the military bases in Romania and Poland, which is next to our western border, thus violating the INF Treaty of 1987, which outlaws use of such systems ashore."

Aegis Ashore

On December 19, the Japanese government made the decision to deploy two Aegis Ashore missile defense systems in the north and southwest of the country’s main island of Honshu, tentatively in 2023. Japan maintains that they are aimed at securing the country against ballistic and maybe cruise missiles. These systems will be bought from the U.S. and will cost Japan an equivalent of about $889 million each.

The deployment of U.S.-made Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense systems in Japan will affect ties of Moscow and Tokyo, including the dialogue on a peace treaty, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday. She mentioned that the systems are equipped with universal launchers that are also capable of using attack weapons. "In practice, this will mean a new violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by the U.S. with practical assistance from Japan," Zakharova stressed.