Japan ‘understands’ U.S. pullout from INF treaty

Jiji PressTOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Japanese government on Monday expressed its understanding of the United States’ decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia.

“The situation leaving no choice but to finish with the treaty is undesirable, but we understand the recognition of problems that led to the announcement by the United States,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Saturday that the United States has officially notified Russia of its decision to suspend its obligations under the INF treaty, signed in 1987.

“We can no longer be restricted by the treaty while Russia shamelessly violates it,” Pompeo said.

Following the U.S. announcement, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow will follow Washington in suspending its treaty obligations, while approving the development of new supersonic intermediate-range missiles.

Behind the U.S. decision is also believed to be the military buildup of China, which is outside the INF treaty.

The U.S. move “could directly affect the security situation in East Asia,” Suga said. “We’ll keep in touch with concerned countries, including Russia and China, while cooperating with the United States.”

Meanwhile, Suga said the government will work with the Russian side for an early return home for a Japanese crab fishing boat and its crew taken into Russian custody last week.Speech

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