Although the U.S. unilateral withdrawal from the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty with Russia is essentially an issue between the two countries, Tokyo hopes to keep abreast of developments, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Friday.

“This is an issue between the U.S. and Russia,” he told reporters at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence. “We hope things will develop in the direction in which progress will be made over arms control, arms reduction, nuclear nonproliferation and international security.

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