In Tokyo, foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov and defense Minister
Of Russia Sergey Shoigu held a meeting with Japanese colleagues, Taro Kono and Takeshi
Ivaya in the format of “2 + 2”. During the meeting the parties raised a number of pressing issues. In
particular, the strengthening military cooperation between Japan and the United States, as well as placement
in the country the American missile defense system Aegis Ashore. Tokyo, in turn, expressed
concern about the activity of Russian armed forces on the Kuril Islands. In the answer Sergey
Lavrov stressed that the armed forces are working on their sovereign territory.

Thursday, may 30, in Tokyo held talks with foreign Minister
Of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov, the Minister of defence of Russia Sergey Shoigu with their Japanese
colleagues Taro Kono and Takeshi Ivaya in the format of “2 + 2”.

Following the meeting, the Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov has answered
Japanese concerns about military activity of Moscow in the Kuril Islands. According to the Minister,
the Russian military are working on their territory.

“The Russian armed forces are working on their sovereign
territory, as is customary on the basis of international law,” Lavrov said
during the press conference.

Thus the head of the Russian foreign
the Ministry commented on the statement of foreign Minister of Japan, Taro Kono, who
said that Tokyo considers unacceptable the increased military presence of the Russian Federation on
The South Kuril Islands. He mentioned that actions such as the deployment of fighters and
the missile firings, the Japanese side considers “unacceptable
of view of the legal position.”

Lavrov also said that the meeting in the format of “2 + 2”
discussed the topic of a military Alliance between Tokyo and Washington.

“We talked about the current situation and strengthened the military Alliance
between Japan and the United States,” — said the Minister.

Lavrov stressed that Russia is concerned about threats
security which arise on the background of US plans to deploy its missile defense system
in Japan.

“We reaffirmed our concern with those risks that
created for our security, including in connection with deployment plans
elements of a global missile defense the United States on the Japanese
territory”, — said the head of Ministry of foreign Affairs.

In 2017, the government of Japan has decided to place
on its territory, two us ground-based Aegis Ashore. Their radius
actions must cover the whole country. One of them plan to install on
North-West Japan, the other in the South-West. According to the plan, the plants should
to enter into operation until 2023.

In addition, Lavrov said that the fourth round
negotiations with Japan in the format of “2 + 2” was Frank, the parties managed
to build a constructive discussion.

“The negotiations were Frank, we never went around a sharp
questions but sought to build a constructive discussion, and we did it,”
— said the head of the Russian foreign Ministry.

The diplomat added that the next meeting of representatives
Russia and Japan in the format of “2 + 2” will take place in Moscow. According to Lavrov, the date
will be discussed later.

In turn, the Minister of defence of Russia Sergey Shoigu said
what counts on fruitful cooperation of Moscow and Tokyo in the military sphere.
He expressed confidence that the military authorities of the two countries will be able to contribute to
the development of a constructive dialogue between Moscow and Tokyo.

“It is important to determine what contribution can the military
Department in the establishment of constructive contacts between the two countries. Note,
in recent time Russian-Japanese relations have significantly
development,” the Minister said.

Four meetings of Ministers of Russia and Japan

The last time the negotiations between Russia and Japan in the format of “2 + 2”
on 31 July last year in Moscow. It was the third meeting in
such a format.

Then, according to Sergei Lavrov, Moscow and Tokyo expressed
willingness to expand cooperation in the security sphere. He noted that
the sides were unanimous in the opinion that “in the Asia-Pacific region
the situation is very difficult, as in General in the world arena”.

“Stressed the importance of increasing modern
conditions of mutual trust, working together on those issues
where the positions of our countries are close or coincide, and on those issues where it is necessary
these positions are still closer together,” — said Lavrov.

At the meeting in 2018 the parties also raised the issue
the deployment of U.S. missile defense in Japan. As this time, representatives of Tokyo
said that the installation does not threaten Russia. The Minister of defense of Japan, Itsunori
Onodera said that he had told the Russian side about the latest trends in
defence of Japan.

“Also, I explained again to the Russian side that the missile defense system,
which we now possess, including Aegis Ashore, is not a threat to
Russia is a completely defensive system”, — quotes the words of Onodera
RIA Novosti.

The second meeting of Ministers of Russia and Japan was held
in March 2017 after a long hiatus. The sides discussed issues of joint
economic and business activities in the Southern Kurils problem
security in the Asia-Pacific region, and also touched on the Syrian and
the Ukrainian conflict.

Prior to this, the Ministers of Russia and Japan met in 2013. In
2014 Tokyo joined anti-Russian sanctions and the interaction between
the two countries was limited.