Japan, Russia Discuss Security, Territorial Dispute


Japan, Russia Discuss Security, Territorial Dispute

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, right, reviews an honor guard with his Japanese counterpart Tomomi Inada upon arrival at Defense Ministry in Tokyo, March 20, 2017.


TOKYO

The foreign and defense ministers from Japan and Russia met in Tokyo on Monday, with both sides expressing hope that discussions on joint development of islands claimed by both countries might help them move closer to resolving the territorial dispute preventing them from forging a peace treaty.

The talks are the first "two-plus-two" meeting since Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

The one-day meeting is largely focusing on regional security, especially how best to deal with North Korea's launches of missiles and its nuclear program.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said before the talks that its envoys would raise the issue of a plan by the U.S. and its ally South Korea to deploy a state-of-the-art missile defense system known as THAAD, which has antagonized China and Russia.

Joint efforts in fighting terrorism and drug trafficking were also on the agenda.

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida was meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, while Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada sat 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 Two.

But the countries see more room for agreement on joint development of fisheries, tourism and other areas that might help bridge the gap.

Kishida said he intended to work in a "speedy manner" to move closer toward reaching a peace treaty, especially making progress on joint economic development.

Lavrov agreed, saying at the outset of the talks that "I believe this joint development will become an important step to create an appropriate environment for resolving a peace treaty."

Earlier, 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 also 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.



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
Londoners respond to terror attack in Westminster with solidarity

Londoners respond to terror attack in Westminster with solidarity..

23-Mar, 09:50

Londoners have paid tribute to the victims of the attack The Mayor of...

'Bed-blocking' statistics reveal areas worst affected.

'Bed-blocking' statistics reveal areas worst affected...

23-Mar, 02:08

More than 2,500 hospital beds a day are taken up by patients whose...

Wave of Anti-Semitic Threats Puts US Jewish Community on Edge 

Wave of Anti-Semitic Threats Puts US Jewish Community on Edge ..

23-Mar, 06:00

A Trump supporter named Bob, who declined to give his last name,...

Lena Dunham responds to weight loss criticism

Lena Dunham responds to weight loss criticism..

23-Mar, 01:36

She continued: "Then I had this experience of my body changing and...

Weekly claims for US unemployment benefits rise to 244,000 but still at low level

Weekly claims for US unemployment benefits rise to 244,000 but still at low level..

23-Feb, 08:38

Weekly claims for US unemployment benefits rise to 244,000 but still at...

US Business Spending Rises for 3rd Month, Boosting Factories

US Business Spending Rises for 3rd Month, Boosting Factories..

27-Jan, 08:50

U.S. businesses ramped up their investment in industrial machinery,...

Ex-pharmacy exec convicted in deadly meningitis outbreak

Ex-pharmacy exec convicted in deadly meningitis outbreak..

22-Mar, 12:56

The former head of a Massachusetts pharmacy was convicted Wednesday of...

Singderella Episode 17

Singderella Episode 17..

10-Mar, 22:14

The following Singderella Episode 17 English Sub has been released. Full...