Rus­sia beefs up mil­i­tary base de­spite Ja­pan ten­sions

Daily Trust - - INTERNATIONAL -

Rus­sia says it will ex­pand its mil­i­tary pres­ence on the Kuril Is­lands, which lie off Ja­pan’s north­ern coast and are claimed by Ja­pan.

Rus­sian Defence Min­is­ter Sergei Shoigu said the Kuril base would be de­vel­oped along with four Arc­tic bases.

The row blocked a peace treaty be­tween Rus­sia and Ja­pan af­ter World War Two.

In July Mr Shoigu said two gar­risons were be­ing built on Ku­nashir and Itu­rup - the main is­lands in the group near Hokkaido, Ja­pan’s north­ern­most is­land.

Ja­pan protested when Rus­sian Prime Min­is­ter Dmitry Medvedev vis­ited Ku­nashir and Itu­rup in Au­gust. The Kurils are called the North­ern Ter­ri­to­ries in Ja­pan. The Soviet Union seized the is­lands in 1945, shortly be­fore Ja­pan’s sur­ren­der in World War Two.

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