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    Japan Voices Concern Over Russian Missiles' Deployment to Kuril Islands

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    Tokyo is concerned over Russia’s deployment of surface-to-air missiles to the Kuril Islands north of Japan and its intention to deploy a division there, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters on Monday.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — Kishida said that negotiations on the peace treaty are needed to resolve Tokyo's concerns.

    "I did bring up this issue in our meeting, and I also expressed our concern to Russia. I can’t reveal the details of our meeting but … in order to address issues like that we need serious talks regarding the peace treaty," Kishida said at a joint press conference with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

    In February, 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 said Tokyo had sent a note of protest over the plans.

    The Kuril Islands are the subject of the long-standing territorial dispute between Russia and Japan. Japan lays claim to Kunashir, Iturup, Shikotan islands and the Habomai group of islets. The territorial dispute has prevented Russia and Japan from signing a peace treaty after World War II.

    In December 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a second round of talks on resolving the dispute. The two leaders agreed to create a special regime on the islands leading to the implementation of joint economic projects in the area.

    Kishida said he has given his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov proposals on the joint development of the Kuril Islands.

    "Taking into account consultations held the day before yesterday at the level of deputy foreign ministers, I handed over to Foreign Minister Lavrov the Japanese side's proposals on joint economic activities." The two ministers confirmed they would "deepen the discussion on drawing up a list of priority projects, as well as the consideration of the legal framework" of Russian-Japanese activity on the Kurils, he added.

    Related:

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    Japan's FM Kishida Wants to Discuss Joint Activities in South Kurils With Lavrov
    Russia, Japan Prepare Proposals for Joint Cooperation on Kuril Islands
    Moscow, Tokyo May Broach Russian Military Deployment to Kurils at '2+2' Talks
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