According to Japan’s Sankei Shimbun, the Eastern Military Region of Russia announced on December 1 that it had deployed a long-range S-300V4 anti-aircraft missile system in the South Kuril Islands (Japanese: the four northern islands).
According to the report, although the Russian side did not specify the specific location of deployment, it is likely to be Iturupu Island (Japanese: Selector Island) or Kunasher Island (Japanese: Guohou Island), where the 18th Machine Gun Artillery Division of the Russian Army is located.
The report pointed out that the Red Star TV station of the Russian Ministry of Defense reported on the same day: “Iturup Island has deployed ‘Doyle’ short-range surface-to-air missiles, and now, the new ‘heavy artillery’ has also appeared.” The S-300V4 is believed to have high interception capabilities for ballistic missiles and aircraft.
According to the report, in 2016, Russia deployed the surface-to-ship missile “Redoubt” shore-based anti-ship system on Iturupu Island, and the “Doyle” surface-to-air missile on Kunashr Island, which improved the combat effectiveness against the ship. This is another measure to improve air capability after Russia began to permanently resident the new fighter Su-35 on Iturupu Island in 2018.
According to the Russian Tass News Agency, on December 1, the Japanese Embassy in Russia protested to the Russian Foreign Ministry, pointing out that these actions were related to strengthening Russia’s military capabilities and incompatible with Japan’s position on these islands.
On Wednesday, Japanese official housing officer Katsunobu Kato commented on the deployment of the S-300V4 at a press conference in Tokyo, saying that Japanese authorities “are intent to continue to closely monitor the operations of the Russian armed forces in the Far East” and their “impact on security”.