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International relations

Russian military buildup in Northeast Asia rattles Japan and US

Moscow puts advanced missiles on Hokkaido doorstep amid talk of China alliance

A missile launched from a Russian S-300 anti-aircraft system soars over the Ashuluk shooting range outside Astrakhan, Russia. The country's military has deployed an advanced version of the S-300 on a disputed island claimed by Japan.   © Reuters

MOSCOW -- Russia caused a major stir earlier this month when it deployed one of its most advanced air defense systems, the S-300V4, on a disputed northern island claimed by Japan.

This was no isolated incident: For several years now, Moscow has been on a mission to strengthen its military presence in Northeast Asia. To counter the U.S., Russia has upgraded its weaponry in its Far East, commissioned new ships for its Pacific Fleet, and significantly expanded military cooperation with China.

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