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Lavrov Says Japan Promised Russia to Address Concerns Over Its Military Alliance With US

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Lavrov Says Japan Promised Russia to Address Concerns Over Its Military Alliance With US
Japan's destroyer JS Sazanami, left, the United State's Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Sterett, center, and South Korean destroyer ROKS Dae Jo Yeong, right rear. FOTO/AP Photo/Wong Maye-E
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NAGOYA - Tokyo has promised to address Russia's security-related concerns regarding the development of Japan's military and political alliance with the United States amid statements by the latter saying it viewed Russia as one its key national security threats, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday.

During a press conference to sum up the results of a G20 Foreign Ministers' meeting in Nagoya, Japan, Lavrov said the United States has repeatedly made statements about its plans to deploy intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles to the Asia Pacific region following the collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) between Russia and the US.

Japan and South Korea, however, have told Moscow they were not aware of such plans, according to the Russia's foreign minister.

"We have handed over a list of our specific security-related concerns over the existence and constant development and reinforcement of the US-Japan military and political alliance to Japanese colleagues through our diplomatic channels and via our Security Council. Our Japanese partners promised to address these concerns, and we will wait for their response and continue discussions", Lavrov told reporters.

The diplomat also noted that Washington did not hesitate to publicly call Russia and China the main threats to the US and that all of its military alliances with Japan, Australia, and South Korea will be built on the basis of these threats and challenges.

"During a meeting with the Japanese foreign minister, we drew the attention [of the Japanese side] to the fact that this [US statements] differs from the assurances made by the Japanese side that the Japan-US alliance does not target Russia", he added.
The foreign minister noted that these issues would be high on the agenda of the forthcoming visit by Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi to Russia in December.
(esn)
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