The Russian Federation has decided to move troops to the Southern Kuril Islands, a territory that is in dispute with Japan since the end of World War II, or The Great Patriotic War, according to Moscow.
The announcement, from the Defense Ministry, said Moscow planned to shift troops into four housing complexes on two of the four disputed islands, known as the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan, next week.
The news came after the Kremlin said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe might visit Russia on Jan. 21 as the two countries step up a push to defuse the territorial dispute to allow them to sign a World War Two peace treaty, something the disagreement over the Pacific islands has long prevented, reported The Moscow Times.
Russian President Putin has been keen to be seen as searching for way to formally end the conflict which ended over 7 decades ago. With the rise of China, and the re-militarization of Russia, Japan has made signs that it may also change its constitution to allow a more robust military capability. The development worries Beijing and Moscow, which sees Japan as a historical, military rival.
Japan plans to lodge a formal diplomatic protest against Russia's construction of a new barracks on the disputed Kuril Islands. https://t.co/2FhvUZOdnv
— WorldPoliticsReview (@WPReview) December 18, 2018
Russia seems to want a concrete agreement against any missile defense facilities installed on the territory as part of any peace deal.