Japan hopes US won't ditch INF accord
Japan hopes that ultimately, the US will decide not withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), and thinks that this document plays a crucial role in the sphere of arms control, Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan Yoshihide Suga stated on Monday during a press conference in Tokyo, TASS reports.
"We attach great importance to the historic role of this treaty on the issues of arms control and disarmament. We would not like a situation when the US would really have to withdraw from the treaty. We hope that the situation will improve," he said.
Suga added that the changes in the global security situation "pose a serious problem for stability and peace in Japan."
On October 20, US President Donald Trump said that Washington would withdraw from the INF Treaty because Russia was violating the terms of the agreement. At the same time, he did not rule out signing a new agreement on intermediate-range nuclear forces with Moscow and Beijing if Russia and China provide guarantees of halting the production of such weapons.
The INF Treaty was signed between the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987 in Washington, DC. The US accused Russia of violating the agreement for the first time in July 2014. Later, Washington repeated the claims on many occasions, while Moscow rejected them, also accusing the US of developing and deploying missiles and missile defense elements prohibited by the treaty.