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Russia, Japan Agree to Increase Defense and Security Cooperation

F35Japanese and Russian foreign and defense officials met Saturday to discuss strengthening bilateral cooperation amid regional security concerns in the Asia Pacific, Reuters reported Saturday.

Yoko Kubota writes the ministers from both countries agreed to hold more diplomatic forums and joint military exercises to fight piracy and terrorism.

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told a press conference Saturday the talks could also advance negotiations toward a peace treaty between the nations, according to the report.

“To boost cooperation in the field of security, and not just in the field of economic and people exchanges, means that we are improving overall Japan-Russia ties,” Kishida said at a news conference.

At a recent meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to resume discussions aimed at resolving a long-running territorial dispute, Kubota writes.

The two countries have also agreed to hold naval exercises to deepen cooperation in regional security and diplomatic forums.

However, Russian officials are weary of a plan to place a U.S. missile-defense radar system in Japan, according to the article.

“We openly communicated that we are concerned about Japan’s participation in the United States’ global missile defense system,” Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

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