Russia concerns over U.S. troop presence in Japan

The Russian Ambassador to Japan, Mikhail Galuzin, today expressed concern about the military alliance between the United States and Japan, due to the presence of U.S. troops in that nation, bordering Russian territory.

In an interview with the Sputnik news agency on Thursday, the diplomat said the scope of his concerns goes far beyond the deployment of the Aegis Ashore missile defense system that will be operational by 2023.

We do not consider Tokyo a threat, but we do consider the presence of Pentagon troops in the Japanese archipelago. ‘We cannot ignore the fact that Washington’s current policy toward Moscow is not friendly, to put it mildly, but essentially hostile,’ Galuzin said.

For the Russian government representative, U.S. soldiers are a security challenge, no matter where they are.

Japan houses about 100 U.S. bases, many of them near residential areas where the inhabitants reject the presence of U.S. soldiers for environmental reasons, because of accidents, among other causes.

Due to constant complaints from the population about noise, Tokyo recently bought Mageshima Island to relocate a U.S. military takeoff and landing training site located at about 1,200 km south of this capital.

The Japanese government approved in December 2017 the acquisition of Aegis Ashore ground combat systems to enhance defence capabilities against the alleged threat of missiles from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Russia warned that the Aegis Ashore are dangerous because of their ability to launch anti-ballistic and cruise missiles previously prohibited under the Intermediate and Short-Range Missile (INF) Treaty, an agreement suspended on August 2 by Washington’s initiative.

Vesna News — official website