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Putin expresses concern over possibility of U.S. military bases in Northern Territories

All national dailies reported on a press conference by Russian President Putin on Thursday, during which he commented on the possibility of U.S. bases being established on the islands of the Northern Territories after they are returned to Japan. The papers quoted Putin as saying that it would be difficult for Russia to make an important decision on a peace treaty unless Japan explains what will happen after its conclusion. Asahi speculated that although Prime Minister Abe has told Putin that Japan does not plan to host U.S. military bases in the Northern Territories, Putin expressed skepticism about Abe’s explanation by citing the situation in Okinawa, where U.S. military bases exist despite local opposition. Sankei wrote that Putin also expressed concern over Japan’s plan to deploy the Aegis Ashore land-based anti-missile system.

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