At a meeting with the leadership of Japan's self-defense forces, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said that Russia and China pose a threat to the national security of the country by increasing military activity in the region.
"We are witnessing actions that mean the escalation of military activity in the Eastern Pacific," said Onodera.
As a confirmation of his words, the Minister referred to the most extensive Russian military exercises since the cold war Vostok-2018. He also mentioned Russia's transfer of modern weapons, including surface-to-air missiles to the Southern Kuril Islands.
China, he said, is also "rapidly increasing its military power and accelerating military activity."
“It (China) has a unilaterally shown military activity in the sea and airspace around our country, which causes serious concern for the state defense," said Onodera, noting that North Korea also continues to threaten Japan's security.
Earlier, the Japanese government expressed protest against the Russia’s deployment of Su-35S fighters to the island of Iturup. The countries are engaged in a dialogue to resolve the question of the ownership of the four northern islands (the southern part of the Kuril Islands chain).
The Kuril Islands are the subject of a territorial dispute between Russia and Japan since the Second World War.