Japan and Russia hold talks on security, territorial dispute

The foreign and defense ministers from Japan and Russia are meeting in Tokyo for the first "two-plus-two" talks since Russia's annexation of Ukraine.

Monday's one-day meeting comes as the sides work to end a decades-long territorial dispute that is blocking them from forging a peace treaty. At the same time, Japan, Russia, China and other countries are mulling how best to deal with North Korea's launches of missiles and its nuclear program.

Plans by the U.S. and its ally South Korea to deploy a state-of-the-art missile defense system known as THAAD, meanwhile, have antagonized Beijing and Russia.

Officials on both sides said the talks would largely focus on regional security.

"We will offer our view of the deployment of the U.S. missile defense system in the Pacific region," a Russian Foreign Ministry statement said.

It said joint efforts in fighting terrorism and drug trafficking were also on the agenda.

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida will meet with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada will sit down for talks with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. The four ministers will also hold joint talks on international and bilateral issues.

Japan and Russia last held "two-plus-two" talks in November 2013. Meetings were shelved after that due to the crisis in Ukraine, as Japan joined sanctions against Moscow.

The Tokyo talks are not expected to lead to a breakthrough on conflicting claims to islands north of Hokkaido — Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan and the Habomai islets — that came under Russian control after Japan's defeat in World War II.

A Japanese foreign ministry official said Tokyo would raise concerns over Russia's installment of surface-to-ship missiles on Etorofu and other military activity elsewhere on the disputed islands, and seek an explanation from Moscow. It does not plan to push harder than that, said the official, who briefed reporters on the condition he not be named.

Japanese officials said the talks would include work on planning a visit by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Moscow later this year. Logistics of visits by Japanese former residents of the disputed islands will also be addressed, they said.

While the countries remain at odds with no clear way forward in resolving the territorial dispute, they are discussing joint development of fisheries, tourism and other areas that might help bridge the gap.



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
Gannett revenue grows despite Q1 net loss; shares rise

Gannett revenue grows despite Q1 net loss; shares rise..

25-Apr, 12:40

Gannett and USA TODAY headquarters in McLean, Va., Tuesday, May 12, 2015....

Body parts for cash

Body parts for cash..

25-Apr, 18:56

Some refugees beg on the streets - particularly children. Young boys...

Are McDonald's new uniforms the look of Star Wars villainy?

Are McDonald's new uniforms the look of Star Wars villainy?..

25-Apr, 22:50

The new McDonald's uniform draws criticism on social media.Peter Cushing...

Sam and Billie Faiers share incredibly cute snaps from their family holiday

Sam and Billie Faiers share incredibly cute snaps from their family holiday..

25-Apr, 19:01

by Hanna Fillingham Sam and Billie Faiers have posted sweet family photos...

Pistorius Prosecutor Quits, Plans Anti-Corruption Role

Pistorius Prosecutor Quits, Plans Anti-Corruption Role..

31-Jan, 09:56

The South African state prosecutor who led the case against convicted...

Hawaii bill seeks more oversight over commercial fishing

Hawaii bill seeks more oversight over commercial fishing..

14-Feb, 15:12

Hawaii lawmakers are calling for more oversight of the commercial fishing...

TV Novel – Sea of the Woman Episode 6

TV Novel – Sea of the Woman Episode 6..

06-Mar, 01:51

The following TV Novel – Sea of the Woman Episode 6 English Sub has been...

House GOP abruptly pulls troubled health care bill

House GOP abruptly pulls troubled health care bill..

24-Mar, 15:50

Republican leaders have abruptly pulled their troubled health care...