Toyo : Japan is closely monitoring Russia’s military activity in the border areas and urges Moscow to ensure the safety of Japanese ships during planned missile launches in the Sea of Japan, the country’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said on Tuesday.
Kato told reporters that Russia was planning to fire missiles in the waters of the Sea of Japan from July 7 – 9.
“Due to the fact that the planned drills may affect the exclusive economic zone of Japan in the region, a note was sent to the Russian side through diplomatic channels on July 2, calling on Russia to fully ensure the safety of Japanese shipping in the exclusive economic zone of Japan.
We continue to closely monitor Russia’s military activity in areas bordering our country,” the senior official said.
Kato also touched upon the issue of the contested Kuril Islands, reaffirming that Tokyo sought to resolve the territorial dispute through a dialogue with Moscow.
In June, Russia carried out large-scale military exercises near the Kuril Islands — which Japan considers its “Northern Territories” — involving more than 10,000 servicemen, up to 500 units of military equipment, some 32 aircraft, and about 12 vessels of the Pacific Fleet. Tokyo has lodged a protest with Moscow via diplomatic channels over what it believes is reinforcement of Russia’s military presence in the Sea of Japan.
Japan’s territorial claims over the islands are based on a 19th century deal. Russia insists that its sovereignty over the Kuril Islands was established after the World War 2. The two countries never signed a permanent peace treaty following the war.