Friday morning’s Mainichi wrote that Russia’s Chief of the General Staff Gerasimov will visit Japan in mid-December. The paper wrote that although Gerasimov is on the list of individuals subject to EU sanctions over Ukraine, Japan has decided to host the Russian general because he held talks with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Dunford in February. The paper speculated that Tokyo is hoping to learn about Russia’s intention for building military bases on the Kuril Islands, including the Northern Territories. This will be the first time in seven years for a top Russian military officer to visit Japan and the first visit by Gerasimov. He is expected to meet with Defense Minister Onodera and SDF Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Kawano during his stay in Tokyo.