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US could use Japan’s missile defense system to attack: Lavrov

  • January 16, 2018
  • , The Mainichi
  • English Press

MOSCOW (Kyodo) — Russia “seriously doubts” that a U.S.-made missile system to be deployed by Japan will be controlled by Tokyo and suspects the system could be used by Washington to launch attacks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday.


Lavrov told a press conference that the deployment of the land-based Aegis Ashore missile defense system, which the Japanese government aims to bring into operation in fiscal 2023 amid the growing North Korean threat, would cast a shadow over Moscow’s ties with Tokyo.


“We do not know of a single example around the globe in which the United States has deployed its weapons only to place the controls in the hands of the host country. I have very strong doubts the United States will make an exception” with the deployment in Japan, Lavrov said.


In seeking Russia’s understanding, the Japanese government has said the Aegis Ashore missile system, which would increase its ability to intercept missiles launched at Japanese territory from North Korea, will be operated by Tokyo and not pose a threat to Japan-Russia relations.


Russia views the deployment of Aegis Ashore in Japan and elsewhere as part of a global U.S. missile defense system.


Lavrov said that Russia has many questions regarding the U.S. missile defense system and urged Tokyo to provide “more convincing” data through dialogue with Japan’s National Security Council.


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