Japan’s decision to acquire a ground-based version of the US-built Aegis Ashore missile defence system has been severely criticised by the Russian government as a violation of Washington’s Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty responsibilities.
Russian foreign ministry of affairs spokesperson Maria Zakharova claimed in a briefing in late December that Japan’s decision to deploy the system “causes deep regret and concern”, and will alter stability in the region, while also affecting relations between Tokyo and Moscow.
“Whatever arguments and motives are behind it, it is clear that the deployment of these systems is yet another step towards building a full-fledged Asian-Pacific regional segment of the global US missile defence system,” Zakharova said.
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