Japan Watches Russian Military Bases on Kurils

Russia has announced plans to build five military bases, including one on the Kuril Islands. The Soviet Union seized the islands from Japan at the end of World War II. The proposed bases are a small part of Russian efforts to increase and protect trade with Asian economies.

Both Japan and Russia know the importance of the Kurils. The islands are near waters commonly used by trade ships. Underground reserves of oil and natural gas increase the value of the islands. The fishing grounds are also good. Continue reading