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Zakharova: Japan Acquisition of Aegis Ashore BMD System May Impact Russo-Japanese Relations

Dec. 29, 2017 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned, yesterday, that the Japanese plan to but two installations of the U.S.-built Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense (BMD) system may have an impact on Russo-Japanese relations. The decision, she said, causes "deep regrets and major concerns" in Russia. "We see this move by Japan as running counter to efforts to ensure peace and stability in the region," she went on.

"Such actions by Tokyo are directly at variance with the priority task to build trust in the military-political sphere between Russia and Japan and will negatively influence the general atmosphere in bilateral relations, including negotiations on a peace treaty,"

she said. She added that regardless of the ostensible reasons for Japan buying the U.S. system, it "is yet another move towards creating a full-value Asian-Pacific regional segment of the U.S. global missile defense system."

The Aegis Ashore purchase is just one element of a Japanese military buildup under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, that includes military deployments to Japan’s southernmost island chain in the East China Sea, consideration of the acquisition of cruise missiles as well as refitting the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force’s Izumo helicopter carrier to carry the U.S.-supplied F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing version of the F-35 joint strike fighter.