Defense Ministry says Russia plans to expand its military construction on Kuril Islands in North Pacific, disputed by Japan
MOSCOW (AA) – The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Monday that the country will expand its military construction on the Kuril Islands in the North Pacific, disputed by Japan.
A total of 51 different objects, designed for resistance to earthquakes measuring up to nine points on the Richter scale, will be built on the islands in the coming years, the ministry said in a statement.
The move will almost certainly provoke a protest from Japan, which considers the Kuril Islands its territories. The territorial dispute over the islands has not been resolved since World War II.
At the 1945 Yalta Conference, then-the Soviet Union agreed to start military operations on the eastern front under an agreement with its western allies, and in exchange, received some Japanese territories, including the Kuril Islands.
After the war, however, Japan rejected the Soviet Union’s sovereignty over the islands.
Due to the dispute, Russia and Japan never signed a peace treaty and technically are still at war. As both sides claim the territories, the question of the Kurils’ sovereignty remains uncertain.
Tokyo regularly protests visits of Russian officials to the islands.
Russian authorities fear the possible deployment of US missile systems on the islands if they are returned to Japan, creating a direct military threat to Russia.