Comment by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov on the deployment of missile defence system in Japan

December 30, 2017

We have noted a statement by the Japanese Foreign Ministry, which said the anti-missile system being deployed in that country will be controlled from Tokyo and will not threaten Russia or other neighbouring countries.
However, everyone is well aware that Japan has long been involved in building the Asian segment of the US global missile defence system. Back in 2006, the US and Japan signed an intergovernmental agreement on missile defence cooperation; the two countries are now engaged in joint development of new generation missiles in accordance with that agreement.
This means the systems now being deployed on Japanese territory are technically and functionally identical to the American ones, precisely to those that are capable of launching both interceptor missiles and medium-range and shorter-range cruise missiles. The US deploys them at its military bases in Romania and Poland, that is, near our western border, contrary to the INF Treaty of 1987, which bans the deployment of such systems on land.
The fact that similar systems can now appear on the eastern borders of Russia creates a new situation for us, something we certainly cannot fail to take into account in our military planning. Once again, we urge our Japanese colleagues to weigh the options and decide whether it is in their interests to become complicit in a breach of the INF.