Russian, Japanese ministers discuss security concerns

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-30 22:36:08|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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MOSCOW, May 30 (Xinhua) -- The foreign and defense ministers of Russia and Japan expressed their respective concerns on Thursday that the military activities of one country could undermine the security of the other.

"We have confirmed our concerns about the risks being created to our security, including plans to deploy elements of the U.S. global missile defense system in Japan," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters following a "2+2" meeting of the four officials in Tokyo.

There is no alternative to the principle of common security and no country should ensure its own security at the expense of others, Lavrov said, according to a transcript published by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

According to the ministry's video footage, Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said the U.S. Aegis Ashore missile interceptor system deployed in Japan is of purely defensive nature and does not pose any threat to Russia.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono expressed Tokyo's concerns about Russia's military activities in the four disputed Pacific islands, called the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russia.

In response, Lavrov reiterated that the Russian Armed Forces operate on their sovereign territory as is customary on the basis of international law.

According to Lavrov, the Russian-Japanese talks were frank and the parties did not "bypass the critical issues, but sought to build a discussion constructively."

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the two countries agreed to maintain positive dynamics of cooperation and, in particular, to strengthen ties in the naval field and continue the exchanges of visits by the heads of the general staffs.