Printed on Sun Aug 07 2022 7:43:42 PM

Russia leads military drills on isles disputed with Japan

International desk
Russia was leading drills on islands claimed by Tokyo, Japanese media said on Saturday, days after Moscow halted peace talks with Japan because of its approval over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Russia's Eastern Military District said it was directing military drills on the Kuril islands within access of 3,000 soldiers and many bits of armed force gear, Russia's Interfax news agency said Friday.

It did not say where on the island chain, interfacing Russia's Kamchatka peninsula and Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido, the drills were occurring. Japanese media said they were on territory the Soviet Union seized at the end of World War Two which is asserted by Tokyo.

Japan's Foreign Ministry and Prime Minister's Office could not be reached outside business hours to remark on the activities.

The territorial dispute over the four islets - which Russia says are important of its Kuril chain and which Japan calls it's Northern Territories - has kept Tokyo and Moscow from arriving at a ceasefire officially finishing threats.

Japan responded indignantly on Tuesday after Russia withdrew from long-running treaty talks and froze joint economic projects connected with the islands, in reprisal for Japan joining Western approvals over Moscow's month-old invasion.

Russia's activities involved repelling amphibious warfare, including destroying defense aircraft carrying troops and testing skills to operate fire control systems of anti-tank guided missiles, Interfax said.

"Moreover, units of the Air Defense Forces are carrying out a set of measures to distinguish, identify and destroy aircraft of a mock enemy that would carry out an airborne assault," the agency referred to the District's press administration as saying.
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