Japan, Russia talk cooperation
TOKYO — Japan and Russia held their first high-level defense and diplomatic talks Saturday and agreed to step up cooperation between their militaries amid regional security concerns such as North Korea and China.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera met their Russian counterparts Sergei Lavrov and Sergei Shoigu and agreed to hold joint military and anti-piracy exercises and establish a defense consultation framework. Their countries' defense ties are geared toward peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and would not affect existing alliances, including one between Japan and the United States, they said.
Lavrov told a news conference after the talks that upgrading defense ties between the two countries could serve their national interests in resolving terrorism and North Korea's nuclear threats, as well as other regional disputes. He welcomed the talks as a landmark development for Russia and Japan, and said that this new cooperation would not interfere with the Japan-U.S. alliance.
Kishida also said Japan's alliance with Washington remains “the cornerstone” of Tokyo's foreign and security policy.
Earlier Friday, Japan and Russia agreed to continue discussing a territorial dispute that has kept the nations from signing a peace treaty.
“We need to act constructively. We should not be emotional and avoid provocative remarks,” Lavrov said at a news conference on Friday.
The diplomats also agreed to hold vice ministerial talks in late January or February, before Kishida's planned visit to Russia in the spring.
Lavrov did not mention an attack on Russian missiles in Latakia in Syria. Kishida said he and Lavrov planned to discuss Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and other international issues at Friday's working dinner, which was closed to the media.
Japan is seeking to broaden its defense ties, in addition to its key security alliance with the United States, in response to China's growing military presence and threats from North Korea.
Russia has expanded its trade ties in Asia, and President Vladimir Putin has actively sought closer relations with Japan, partly as a counter to China's rising military power.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Upscale Baghdad hotels bombed
- Nigerian president brightens hope
- Chinese artillery spotted on artificial island
- Islamic State group claims Shiite mosque blast in Saudi Arabia
- Gunmen hijack buses in Pakistan, kill passengers
- Motivated Syrian Kurds take fight to ISIS in contrast to failures of Iraqi army
- Blatter wins re-election despite FIFA corruption scandal
- Army commando team kills senior Islamic State official in Syria raid
- Islamic State terrorists tighten grip on Ramadi, Iraq, execute opponents
- Burundi opposition figure Feruzi shot dead in capital
- New parties shake up politics around Spain