Russian Federation says United States missile defense system is a risk to regional security

Dame Vera with World War 2 veteran fighter pilot Flight Lieutenant William Walker

Dame Vera with World War 2 veteran fighter pilot Flight Lieutenant William Walker

Moscow and Tokyo have agreed to hold another "two plus two" meeting between the two countries' foreign and defense ministers in Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said following talks in the similar format on Monday. Russian participants included Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov.

The two sides said they agreed to keep working toward resolving a longstanding territorial dispute that has prevented the countries from forging a peace treaty officially ending their World War II hostilities.

The rapid progress made by North Korea in its missile programme, which on March 6 test-fired four missiles into Japanese waters, will be one of the main topics of discussion, according to Japanese sources.

Inada explained that the system is "purely" for the goal of defending Japan as the country needs to deal with such issues as North Korea's nuclear and missile development, while insisting it will not pose a threat to Russian Federation, the official said.

Talking to reporters after a security meeting among foreign and defense ministers from Japan and Russia, Kishida also said the two sides had agreed to demand that North Korea, which has carried out a series of nuclear and missile tests in defiance of United Nations sanctions, halt such actions.

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Japan has its own ballistic missile shield system, which involves the Maritime Self-Defense Force's Aegis destroyers equipped with Standard Missile-3 interceptors and the Air Self-Defense Force's Patriot Advanced Capability-3 surface-to-air guided interceptors. The four ministers then held combined talks on worldwide and bilateral issues.

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.

After the first meeting in 2013, the security meetings between Tokyo and Moscow were put on hold as bilateral ties were frozen following Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014.

"Russia and Japan need to jointly tackle many common threats", Shoygu said on Monday ahead of the talks.

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