Russian Federation says United States missile systems a risk to regional security

Touchy topics were also discussed, with Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada protesting Russia's increasing military presence on disputed islands off Hokkaido, and her counterpart Sergei Shoigu criticizing a missile defense system deployed in Japan that also involves components owned by the United States.

Strategic concerns, both in northeast Asia and elsewhere, including Syria and Ukraine, were among a wide range of regional and global issues addressed in the one-day talks among foreign and defense ministers from Japan and Russian Federation. Russian participants included Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov.

Japan and Russian Federation agreed Monday to step up work toward resolving a longstanding territorial dispute through cooperation in a range of areas.

Although revealing differences over certain issues, the defense ministers of the two countries agreed on the "importance of deepening cooperation to ensure the region's stability and prosperity", the Japanese official said.

Russian Federation has expressed concerns over the U.S. missile defense system deployment in northeast Asia as a threat to regional security.

"We had in-depth talks today over North Korea's nuclear and missile issues and agreed to demand strongly that North Korea refrain from further provocations and observe U.N. Security Council resolutions", Kishida said. The four ministers will also hold joint talks on global and bilateral issues.

Inada said during the portion open to the media that it is "significant that the two-plus-two talks will convene for the first time since 2013 amid the severe security environment". Meetings were shelved after that due to the crisis in Ukraine, as Japan joined sanctions against Moscow.

Shoigu, for his part, expressed concerns, particularly over part of the US missile defense system deployed in Japan, telling Inada it "could disrupt the strategic balance of the Asia-Pacific region", according to the Japanese official.

At the beginning of the talks, Akiba said that Japan intends to move forward toward achieving the two countries' common goal of concluding a peace treaty, while maintaining the principle of not undermining each side's legal positions in the joint economic activities.

  • Leroy Wright