New Russian barracks on disputed Kuril islands draws protest from Japan

Russian new military barracks in disputed Kuril islands anger Japan

Russian new military barracks in disputed Kuril islands anger Japan

The announcement is part of a new five-year defense plan agreed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government, which will see record military spending of 27.47 trillion yen (€215 billion) up to March 2024.

The latest national defense guidelines, which are also expected to lead Japan to newly introduce US -made F-35B fighter jets for defense of far-flung islands, were adopted as the government sees the security environment increasing in uncertainty amid China's expanding military activities and rapid advances in technology.

Visitors look at a US stealth aircraft F-35B and F-35 Lightning II during an air show at the Japan Air Self-Defense Forces Misawa airbase in Aomori prefecture, Japan, on September 10, 2017.

In November, Russia and Japan agreed to accelerate talks to formally end World War II hostilities, using a Soviet-era peace declaration as their starting point and throwing into doubt the fate of four disputed islands.

In a separate plan, also approved by the government, Japan pledged to buy 42 F-35s over the next decade, with the F-35B variant widely considered the most likely candidate.

Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya has stressed that Japan will not label an upgraded Izumo as an "attack aircraft carrier", and that it will not pose any threat to other countries, even if fighter jets were to be deployed.

Tokyo has lodged a complaint with Russian Federation over the installation of military barracks on two islands in the Kuril archipelago that are claimed by Japan, a government spokesperson said on Wednesday.

The new guidelines listed China, North Korea and Russian Federation, as well as the United States and NATO, as entities with massive military capabilities with which Japan must concern itself. U.S. President Donald Trump, who has threatened to impose tariffs on Japanese auto imports, thanked Abe for buying the F-35s when the two met at a summit in Argentina this month.

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"We believe this is within ... what is allowed under the constitution". Moscow, meanwhile, says it is perturbed by Japan's roll-out of the Aegis Ashore U.S. missile system.

In addition to the aircraft carriers and fighter jets, Japan will also be acquiring long range cruise missiles.

Local media have said the purchases could total more than one trillion yen (US$8.8 billion). At the same time, Japan is pledging to play a leading role in development of another military jet to replace the F-2, built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Lockheed.

The new defense guidelines also call for a special unit responsible for protecting the country against cyberattacks and electronic warfare.

Japan has adopted new guidelines, calling for converting a destroyer into Japan's first carriers, advanced US-made fighters and increased defence spending.

"Also on both islands we have modern and heated storage facilities for weapons and armoured vehicles", the ministry said in a statement, adding that more such facilities were planned.

Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force's helicopter carrier Izumo. The foreign military sales arrangement is used by Washington to prevent sensitive military technology from leaking, but critics say it is making Japan buy equipment at the asked price that is extremely expensive.

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