TOKYO – The US has begun consultations with the Japanese side on the deployment of new intermediate-range missiles after withdrawing from the intermediate-range missile elimination Treaty (INF TREATY). On Tuesday the newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported.
“On October 18, a high-ranking US representative arrived in Japan to meet with representatives of the defense Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, as well as the national Security Council. As for the deployment of new missiles, this topic was on the agenda,” the newspaper quoted an unnamed US military official as saying.
However, it is not clear whether the American side in the negotiations mentioned the deployment of new weapons in Japan. Earlier, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper expressed his intention to deploy medium-range missiles in the Asia-Pacific region, and, apparently, as one of the options Washington may consider Japan, the newspaper notes.
On August 2, at the initiative of the American side, the INF Treaty was terminated. The US explained its actions by Russia’s refusal to fulfill the American ultimatum to destroy the new cruise missiles of the 9M729 type, which, according to Washington and its NATO allies, violate the provisions of the INF TREATY. Moscow denied these accusations, saying that the technical characteristics of the 9m729 missiles are within the parameters allowed by the Treaty, and put forward counterclaims to Washington.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the appearance of medium-and short-range missiles of the United States in Asia will entail a mirror response and create new threats.