Japan, Russia Disagree on Aegis Ashore in Island Dispute

In their fourth “two-plus-two” dialogue, Japanese and Russian foreign and defense ministers failed to reach consensus over disputed island territories north of Japan. Both countries highlighted missile activity as a key issue. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono stated that Russian missile exercises and aircraft deployments on the islands were “unacceptable,” while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed concern that Japan’s plans to build two Aegis Ashore missile defense systems could pose “a potential threat to Russia.” Negotiations over the disputed islands are set to continue on the sidelines of next month’s G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan.