’Missile deployment should not hurt Russia-Japan talks’

This picture taken on November 19, 2016 shows Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shaking hands during a meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Meeting in Lima. / AFP / Sputnik / Michael Klimentyev
Updated 23 November 2016

’Missile deployment should not hurt Russia-Japan talks’

MOSCOW/TOKYO: Russia said on Wednesday it hoped its deployment of missile systems on the Kurile islands would not damage efforts to settle the long-running territorial dispute between Moscow and Tokyo over the islands.
Russian media reported on Tuesday that Bastion and Bal anti-ship missile systems were now in operation on the islands, an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean over which Russia and Japan have staked rival claims for 70 years.
Delicate diplomacy is underway to prepare for a meeting between the Russian and Japanese leaders in December, when both sides say they hope progress can be made toward settling the dispute.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters the Russian Defense Ministry had grounds for deploying the missile systems, without giving any details.
“But at the same time from our point of view it should not in any way influence the centripetal trend which exists in our bilateral relations with Tokyo,” Peskov said.
He said that trend existed “in terms of the careful preparations for the forthcoming visit of President Putin to Japan and in terms of continuing contacts to develop our bilateral ties, especially in the economic sphere, and negotiations on the peace deal issue.”
After reports of the deployment emerged, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said the government needed time to consider an appropriate response, Kyodo news agency reported.
The Bastion is a mobile defense system armed with two anti-ship missiles with a range of up to 300 km (188 miles). It has also been deployed in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. The Bal anti-ship missile has a similar range.
The dispute over the islands, known as the Kuriles in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan, has strained relations between the two countries since World War Two when Soviet forces occupied four islands at the southern end of the chain, and Moscow and Tokyo have still not signed a formal peace treaty ending wartime hostilities.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has launched what he has described as a new approach to dealing with Russia over the row and has arranged to meet Putin in his home town of Nagato in southern Japan.
“No matter what the intentions were from the Russian side, this is more bad news for Abe,” said James Brown, an associate professor at Temple University Japan Campus in Tokyo.
“The Kantei (prime minister’s office) will need to work hard to convince the Japanese public of the wisdom of the ‘new approach’.”


British airports to introduce 3D screening for carry-on bags

UK Border control is seen in Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport in London June 4, 2014. (REUTERS)
Updated 18 min 3 sec ago

British airports to introduce 3D screening for carry-on bags

  • The screeners already are being used in trials at London’s Heathrow Airport and they will progressively be rolled out to other British airports by Dec. 1, 2022, the government said

LONDON: Putting small containers of liquids in plastic bags could soon be a thing of the past for airline passengers in Britain after the government announced plans Sunday to introduce 3D screening equipment for carry-on luggage at all major airports.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in a statement that the new technology will improve security and could also mean “an end to passengers having to use plastic bags or rationing what they take away with them.”
Under current security restrictions, passengers are not allowed containers carrying more than 100 milliliters (3.38 fluid ounces) of liquids in their carry-on luggage and the containers have to be in a clear plastic bag.
That could come to an end under the new screening regime and passengers may also be able to keep electrical equipment such as their laptops in their cabin bags.
The screeners already are being used in trials at London’s Heathrow Airport and they will progressively be rolled out to other British airports by Dec. 1, 2022, the government said.
Heathrow CEO John Holland Kaye says the technology “will transform the passenger experience, making air travel simple, streamlined and more secure through the UK’s only hub airport.”