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Be Wary About 'Star Wars' Role, Soviets Warn Japan

January 15, 1986|From Times Wire Services

TOKYO — Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze issued a thinly veiled warning to Japan today to "consider carefully" joining the U.S. "Star Wars" program, saying it could escalate the arms race.

The warning came as ultra-rightists tried to storm the Soviet Embassy today, leading to a frosty state banquet in which scheduled speeches were canceled.

A spokesman for Japan's Foreign Ministry did not say why Shevardnadze and Japanese Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe did not speak at the welcoming dinner for the visitor from Moscow. But he said they did exchange toasts.

The banquet followed 2 1/2 hours of talks and an outbreak of violence by ultra-rightists protesting the first top-level dialogue between the two nations since Moscow sent forces into Afghanistan in 1979.

Police arrested six right-wingers who tried to break through police barricades protecting the Soviet Embassy. One threw a smoke bomb at the gate while another was seized as he waved a toy sword.

Shevardnadze indicated during today's talks that Moscow would be displeased if Japan helped the United States in its Strategic Defense Initiative program, the Japanese spokesman said.

He said Abe replied that Japan is still studying its position on SDI but will decide independently in the context of its security arrangements with the United States.

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