Russia Voices Concerns with Japan-U.S. Missile Defense Ties

In bilateral talks over the weekend, Russia told Japan it has serious issues with Tokyo's deepening missile-defense cooperation with the United States, RIA Novosti reported.

"We made no secret of the fact that the creation by the U.S. of a global missile defense system, including a Japanese element, is causing us grave concern, primarily over the possible destruction of the strategic balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region,"  Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a Saturday press conference in Tokyo following the meetings.

The two countries' heads of defense and foreign affairs met for talks on Friday and Saturday in the Japanese capital.

Deepening U.S.-Japanese antimissile collaboration in the region received "special attention" during the "2+2" talks, Shoigu said. Moscow is concerned about the forthcoming fielding of a second U.S. X-band radar in Japan. Tokyo and Washington say the new radar is intended to improve the early detection and tracking of potential North Korean ballistic-missile launches. However, the Kremlin has qualms that the United States is fielding antimissile systems around the world in order to undermine Russian nuclear forces.

Japan also is working with the United States to develop a next-generation Standard Missile 3 interceptor that is designed to target intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The Japanese military has plans to acquire the weapon for use on its own warships. Russia is worried about the missile's planned fielding in Poland around 2018.

"The Japanese missile defense system is defensive and is only targeted against those who have intentions to carry out a missile attack against our country," Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida was quoted by Interfax as saying on Friday prior to talks with Russia. "It does not pose any threats to other countries, which do not have such intentions."

Moscow and Tokyo agreed at their meeting to create a process for bilaterally discussing defense matters, the Associated Press reported.

November 4, 2013
About

In bilateral talks over the weekend, Russia told Japan it has serious issues with Tokyo's deepening missile-defense cooperation with the United States, RIA Novosti reported.