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    Japan to Closely Follow Russian Military’s Actions on Southern Kurils

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    Japan will closely follow actions Russian military’s actions on the South Kuril Islands that Tokyo considers to be Japanese territories, the Defense of Japan annual white paper for 2017 said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Japan will closely follow actions Russian military’s actions on the South Kuril Islands that Tokyo considers to be Japanese territories, the Defense of Japan annual white paper for 2017 said.

    "It is necessary to follow tendencies of Russian Armed Forces on the Far East, including the Northern Territories [Japanese name for the South Kuril Islands]," the paper, released on Tuesday, said.

    The four South Kuril Islands, namely Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai, have long been disputed between Russia and Japan, and are the reason the countries have never signed a permanent peace treaty after the end of World War II.

    In November, the Russian Pacific Fleet's official newspaper Boyevaya Vakhta reported that Bal and Bastion coastal defense missile systems were deployed on Kunashir and Iturup islands, respectively. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the deployment was part of scheduled works aimed at strengthening the country’s national security. Japan, in its turn, criticized the deployment, with Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga saying it was "unacceptable."

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    military activity, Kuril Islands, Russia, Japan
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