Russia has installed a missile system on islands claimed by Japan

Russia’s Defense Ministry confirmed this Monday the deployment of a coastal missile system on Paramushir, the largest island in the Kurils, an archipelago claimed by Japan.

“The Pacific Fleet’s coastal missiles will maintain 24-hour surveillance and control the nearby waters and straits,” the ministry said, as quoted by Russian news agency TASS.

The report reveals that an autonomous military camp has been set up on the island, with year-round service, accommodation, entertainment and food provisions for staff. “For the operation and maintenance of equipment, equipment was installed at technical posts, warehouses for equipment and material resources were established and access to exit posts was created”, the ministry added.

In December 2021, the Pacific Fleet indicated that it had installed similar missiles on the neighboring island of Matua. Earlier, the Russian military confirmed the construction of an airfield on the island.

The Kuril Islands, located to the north of the Japanese archipelago, were occupied by the Soviet Union in the last days of World War II.

Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed in 2016 to develop joint economic activities in the fields of fisheries, tourism, health and environment in the Kuril Islands, claimed by Tokyo since 1946.

However, on June 8, Russia suspended a fisheries agreement with Japan, accusing Tokyo of violating its bilateral obligations established in 1998.

Current bilateral tensions over the war in Ukraine — a country that recognized Japanese sovereignty over the Kurils in October — have soured relations in recent years between Moscow and Tokyo, with the aim of normalizing ties and signing a pending peace treaty after the world war. World War II.

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Russia has always defended signing such an agreement before settling a territorial dispute over the four Kuril Islands, which have been under Soviet- and then Russian-controlled since February 2, 1946. For its part, Japan considers these islands “an ancestral and inalienable part of its territory”.

On Thursday, Japan’s government expressed “deep concern” and considered joint air maneuvers between Russia and China near the Japanese archipelago a threat.

Japanese administration spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told a news conference that the strategic bombers’ participation in maneuvers near the Japanese border is a “threat” to national security.

Tokyo and Seoul pre-emptively deployed fighter jets after several Chinese and Russian planes invaded the two countries’ Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ) without warning on Wednesday.

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