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Russia: Japan’s Militarization Complicates the Situation in Asia-Pacific

Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council and former President Dmitry Medvedev said that Japan’s militarization is complicating the situation in the Asia-Pacific region. Russia and Japan have a complex relationship marked by decades of territorial dispute over several islets controlled by Russia off the coast of Hokkaido that Moscow calls the South Kurils, but which Japan claims are Northern territories.

Disputes over territory captured by the Soviet Union in the final days of the Second World War have prevented Tokyo and Moscow from reaching a peace treaty that would formally end hostilities. “It is regrettable that the Japanese authorities are taking the path towards a new militarization of the country. Troop exercises are underway near the Kuril Islands, which seriously complicates the situation in the Asia-Pacific region,” Russian news agency TASS quoted Medvedev as saying.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office could not be reached for comment. Russia decided this year to declare September 3 the day after Japan surrendered in the Second World War as “Victory Day over Militaristic Japan” prompting protests from Tokyo.

Medvedev said Japan with the help of the United States is expanding its military infrastructure and increasing arms purchases. Japan’s Defense Ministry is seeking a record budget of US$53 billion in the next fiscal year, part of the largest military buildup since the Second World War. It aims to double defense spending to 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2027 on the grounds of an increasingly assertive China and the unpredictable situation in North Korea.

Source : Kabar24