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.
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.
Onodera reacts to Lavrov over Aegis Ashore, insisting that the system is purely defensive and that Japan will independently operate it. https://t.co/8UzFJ7gLb2— James D.J. Brown (@JamesDJBrown) January 16, 2018
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.