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Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, and Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono shake hands after their 2+2 joint press conference at the Iikura Guest House in Tokyo, Thursday, May 30, 2019. (Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool
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Japan’s Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya, second right, shakes hands with Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, while Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono, right, and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, second left, look on after their 2+2 joint press conference at the Iikura Guest House in Tokyo, Thursday, May 30, 2019. (Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool Photo via AP)
TOKYO – Russia and Japan have accused each other of military buildups as their foreign and defense ministers met in Tokyo for talks that failed to make progress on decades-long island disputes.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a joint news conference Thursday that Russia was concerned about Japan's plan to build two land-based Aegis Ashore missile defense systems, while his Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, accused Russia of a military buildup on Russian-controlled islands claimed by both countries.
Lavrov brushed off Japan's criticism, saying his country is only operating in its own territory.
The meetings also included Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu.
The island dispute has prevented the two countries from signing a peace treaty formally ending their World War II hostilities.