MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On Wednesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the ministry would deploy a division on the Kuril Islands this year. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced the following day that Tokyo had sent a note of protest over the plans.
"We do not intend to use our armed forces against Japan by deploying them to the Kuril Islands … We are ready to cooperate, including in the military sector, in the sphere of countering terrorism and theft of marine biological resources," Ozerov said.
Japan lays claim to Russia's Kunashir, Iturup, Shikotan islands and the Habomai group of islets. Tokyo's stance has prevented Russia and Japan from signing a peace treaty after World War II.