On March 29, the Sankei newspaper received from its own source the photos of a new military base that Russia is building on the Kunashiri island.
The released photos showed the new Russia’s military bases and also confirmed that Russia has deployed coastal missile systems (DBK) «Ball» on the island of Kunashiri (Kunashir in Russia). Kunashiri (Kunashir in Russia), meaning Black Island or Grass Island in Ainu, is the part of the Kuril Islands archipelago in the Pacific, between Kamchatka and Japan’s northern Hokkaido island.
The dispute over the islands, known in Japan as the Northern Territories and in Russia as part of the Kuril Islands, has prevented the two countries from signing a peace treaty to formally end wartime hostilities.
In November 2016, the official newspaper of Pacific fleet «Fighting watch» reported that on the Kuril Islands located coastal missile systems (DBK) «Ball» on the island of Kunashir and «Bastion» on the island of Iturup. The personnel of the coastal missile complex «Bastion» is preparing for another fire, the publication reported.
This statement was negatively met in Tokyo, and the government sent a protest to the Russian side, which stated that such strengthening Russia’s military presence on the Kuril Islands to the Japanese position in respect of these areas. As repeatedly stated by the Russian side, the deployment of troops and missiles on the Kuril Islands is a sovereign right of the Russian Federation.
Later, Japan’s defense Minister expressed his protest against the deployment of troops in the Kuril Islands
According to Kyodo, Tomomi Inada protested against the deployment of Russian divisions on the southern Kuril Islands and the stationing there of rockets of a class “earth — ship”.