NHK has learned the governments of Japan and Russia are coordinating efforts to hold the first meeting between Japan’s new national security chief and his Russian counterpart next week.
Informed sources say the new head of Japan’s National Security Council Secretariat, Shigeru Kitamura, may meet Russia’s Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev in Japan on Tuesday. Kitamura takes the post on Friday.
Patrushev is a close aide of President Vladimir Putin. He held several rounds of talks on security issues with Kitamura’s predecessor, Shotaro Yachi.
Russia is increasingly concerned about Japan’s planned introduction of the US missile defense system known as Aegis Ashore.
Moscow says removing such a worry is important in achieving progress in negotiations on a peace treaty between Japan and Russia.
Patrushev is expected to bring up the Aegis issue again in his expected meeting with Kitamura.
Russia is also concerned that the US is intending to deploy ground-launched missiles in Asia following the expiration of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF, last month.
It was a nuclear arms control treaty between the US and Russia.