02:27 GMT25 February 2021
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    TOKYO (Sputnik) – The Aegis Ashore missile defense system that Japan plans to deploy on its territory starting in 2023 will receive commands only from Tokyo and will be used as defense only, the country's Foreign Ministry told Sputnik, following a remark made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov about Washington's potential use of the system.

    On Monday, Lavrov said at his press conference that Russia would like some clarifications over the US-developed missile defense solutions that Japan wants to deploy as Moscow had some doubts that Washington would completely cede control of the equipment to Tokyo.

    "We would like to refrain from commenting on the reports spread by the media. As for the deployment of Aegis Ashore system in Japan, the missile defense of our country is a purely defensive system, the goal of which is to protect the life and property of our citizens. Aegis Ashore will be managed by Japan, it is a Japanese defense system and is no threat to Russia or other countries near Japan," the foreign ministry representative said.

    READ MORE: Japan Deploys New Missile Interception System on Aegis Destroyers — Reports

    The Foreign Ministry also stressed that Japan intended to continue talks with Russia over the four Kuril Islands, claimed by both Moscow and Tokyo, and to finally sign a peace treaty, which the two countries have been unable to do since the end of World War II because of the territorial dispute.

    ​On December 19, the Japanese government approved the deployment of Aegis Ashore in the north and in the southwest of the country. The two components are expected to cover the entire country and will each cost Japan about $890 million.


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    missile defence, Aegis Ashore, Japan, Kuril Islands
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