Japanese, Russian foreign and defence to discuss Kuril Islands settlement

Japanese, Russian foreign and defence to discuss Kuril Islands settlement

A peace treaty to settle the territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands sits atop the agenda.

Kurill islands japan russia 2+2 defence foreign ministers

Photo: forums.airbase.ru

Japan’s foreign and defence ministers will attend a 2+2 meeting with their Russian counterparts in Moscow today. A peace treaty to settle the territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands sits atop the agenda.

Tokyo’s strong military ties with the United States have previously stoked fears in Moscow that any territorial concessions may increase American military influence in the region.

Japan, on the other hand, is concerned about Russia’s militarisation of the Kuril Islands. Two of Russia’s most developed ballistic missile submarines are being sent to the region as will their Yasen-class attack submarine when it is built. Russia’s military presence on the islands enables them to increase their regional influence.

Last November, Vladimir Putin said the Japanese government would need to reconsider its defence alliance with the United States in order for a peace treaty to be signed. If such preconditions prevail after today’s talks, a peace treaty is unlikely to be finalised any time soon.

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