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Russia Builds Missile Base On Kuril Islands Near Japan

Russian Military Exercise

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Russia has increased tensions with Japan by announcing Tuesday that it has placed a mobile coastal defense missile system on the northernmost island of the disputed Kuril Islands. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, “Coastal servicemen of the Pacific Fleet will keep a round-the-clock watch to control the adjacent water area and strait zones.”

The location of Russia’s new missile defense systems is on the island of Paramushir which lies between the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia and Japan. Not only has Russia deployed the missile system to the island, but the Kremlin also plans to move troops to the island permanently to maintain the equipment.

The location of the missile systems has long been disputed between Russia and Japan. Russia has been accused of building up a military presence on the island chain “under the radar” while Japan also claims sovereignty over the islands.

Russia had previously deployed Bastion systems to a different island in the chain, but the expansion announced Tuesday has drastically raised tensions and marks a substantial escalation and militarization of the islands.

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While in the past, there have been peace talks regarding the islands between Russia and Japan, Russia ended them when Japan enforced sanctions on Moscow due to the conflict in Ukraine. Due to the recent increase in tensions and the escalation of Russia’s militarization of the Kuril Islands, it was suggested in the September report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies that the U.S. have more involvement in the area due to Russia’s escalation in the region.

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