Japan expressed concern about the statement made by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the plans to deploy missile systems on the Kuril Islands. "We informed the Russian party through diplomatic channels that we are concerned about the statement of the Head of the Defense Ministry," the Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan, Suga Yoshihide, said on Monday. According to him, Tokyo made it clear to Moscow that the strengthening of the Russian military infrastructure within the disputed territory of the Kuril Islands is "inconsistent and regrettable".
On March 25th, Shoigu said that the Russian coastal missile systems "Bal" and "Bastion”, as well as drones of a new generation, will be deployed to the Kuril Islands. In addition, it is assumed that the Russian sailors will appreciate the possibility of being stationed the Kuril Islands, the Defense Minister stated.
"In April, the sailors of the Pacific Fleet will leave for a three-month expedition hike to the islands of the Greater Kurile Ridge. The main goal is to explore the possibilities of the perspective bases of the Pacific Fleet Forces," Shoigu added.
Russia made a statement about the construction of a military base in the Kuril Islands in October 2015. Reuters notes that such actions obviously only worsen an already difficult relationship between Moscow and the government of Tokyo. Russia insists on the return of the South Kuril Islands, which Japan calls its northern territories. Due to this territorial dispute, Russia and Japan still have not signed a formal Peace Treaty following the cessation of hostilities in World War II.