Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says Japan understands the concerns of the United States that led to its announcement of its intention to withdraw from a nuclear arms treaty with Russia.
The US on Saturday notified Russia that it would suspend its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Russian President Vladimir Putin responded by saying it will also suspend the treaty and develop new missiles that are banned by the pact.
Japan's top spokesperson said on Monday that the treaty has played a historic role in arms reduction, and that the situation that is forcing its end is not desirable.
But he said it is also necessary to recognize that Russia continues to be in grave breach of the treaty and that other nations have started developing and deploying missiles that are banned under the treaty.
He said the Japanese government understands the US concerns.
Suga said issues concerning missiles covered by the treaty are directly linked to security in East Asia. He said Japan is highly interested in the matter, and added that it will work with the US and keep communications open with Russia, China and other nations.