Medvedev orders arms boost on islands claimed by Japan

9th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

President Dmitry Medvedev Wednesday ordered the deployment of additional weaponry on the Kuril islands claimed by Japan, adding Russia needed to expand its presence on an "inseparable" part of its territory.

"The additional weapons which will be deployed there must be sufficient and modern to ensure the security of these islands which are an inseparable part of the Russian Federation," Medvevdev said, quoted by Russian news agencies.

"We will make every necessary effort to strengthen our presence on the Kuril islands. This is our strategic region," he said at a meeting with Russia's ministers of defence and regional development.

His comments represented a drastic sharpening of Moscow's tone in the dispute with Tokyo after Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan called Medvedev's recent visit to the islands an "unforgivable outrage".

© 2011 AFP

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