On December 1st, Russia deployed its newly-upgraded S-300V4 missile defense system to the Kuril Islands, which are disputed by Japan.
Tokyo refers to the islands as the “Northern Territories.”
Russia said it had deployed the missile defense system for combat duty on the islands. The Russian Defense Ministry’s Zvezda TV station said the mobile air defense system, designed to counter ballistic and aerial attacks, was on Iturup — known in Japan as Etorofu — one of four islands that are under Russian control and Japan claims ever since World War II.
“Short-range anti-aircraft missile systems are already on duty on the island of Iturup in Sakhalin Region. Now the air defense ‘heavy artillery’ has arrived. The so-called large air defense system: the S-300V4,” Zvezda said.
It is noted that the readiness for this was personally checked by the commander of the district troops, Colonel-General Gennady Zhidko.
“He highly appreciated the coherence of the work of the crews and the duty forces during the training to practice actions upon receipt of a signal about the violation of the air borders of the Russian Federation in the Kuril Islands,” the message said.
The Ministry of Defense emphasized that the S-300V4 air defense system is a modern highly mobile air defense system. It is designed to cover important objects from the attacks of ballistic and aerodynamic air attack weapons.
The satellite images were shared by a Weibo user with a handle “Mr. Chen”.
The Japanese Foreign Ministry lodged a complaint at the deployment.
“We are constantly gathering information about the Russian military’s actions in the Northern Territories (Japan’s term to refer to Russia’s Southern Kuril Islands – TASS). On December 1, the Japanese Embassy in Russia lodged a protest with the Russian Foreign Ministry, noting that such actions can reinforce Russian military capabilities and are incompatible with our country’s position on these islands,” the ministry said.
Russia and Japan have been in talks to sign a peace treaty since the mid-20th century. The main stumbling block to achieving this is the ownership issue over the Southern Kuril Islands, called the Northern Territories in Japan.
After the end of World War II, the Kuril Islands were incorporated into the Soviet Union. However, the ownership of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan Islands and the Habomai Islands has been challenged by Japan. The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly said that Russia’s sovereignty over these islands, which is committed to paper in international documents, cannot be called in question.
In this most recent situation with the S-300V4, the US decided to pitch in with its idea.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has slammed the US Department of State’s demand for Russians living in the Kuril Islands to name Japan as their place of birth, stressing that Washington encourages revanchism and revisionist mood.
“Do we need another evidence that the United States is a revisionist power? Under the 1945 decision, the Kuril Islands were handed over to the Soviet Union. Today, the Department of State is calling in question the outcome of World War II and is encouraging revanchism (political manifestation of the will to reverse territorial losses incurred by a country),” the ministry stated on its official Telegram channel. “Know your borders and ‘red lines,” it stressed.
Earlier, Japan’s Hokkaido Simbun reported citing the rules for the green card lottery published on the State Department’s website that Russians born in the Kuril Islands should say their place of birth is Japan, while the natives of Sakhalin should write that they were hail from Russia.
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