TOKYO, December 11. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry seeks to boost naval cooperation with Japan and is ready to work jointly on a draft deal on assisting a rescue and search effort for crews of distressed submarines, Chief of Russia’s General Staff Valery Gerasimov said after a meeting in Tokyo with Chief of the Joint Staff of the Japanese Self-Defense Force Katsutoshi Kawano.
"Holding bilateral search and rescue exercise SAREX contributes a better coordination between our fleets and increasing the level of joint counteraction to security threats in the sea. I would like to stress our interest in further expanding naval cooperation," Gerasimov said.
"We are ready for joint work on a draft intergovernmental deal on cooperation in search and rescue of crews of distressed submarines," he said.
According to Gerasimov, this document will create a legal mechanism to regulate the issues of search and rescue for crews of distressed submarines. This will increase efficiency of this effort and reduce the time it takes to conduct the operations.
The Russian and Japanese Defense Ministries will carry out 27 joint activities in 2018, which has been declared a Russian-Japanese Year of Exchange, Gerasimov said following a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Itsunori Onodera in Tokyo.
"We have agreed to hold 27 joint activities concerning military cooperation next year. We expect that they all will be carried out successfully with Japan’s support," Gerasimov said.
He pointed out that the year 2018 had been declared a Russian-Japanese Year of Exchange.
"More than 300 events are planned to be held. We will participate in implementing those related to the Defense Ministries. We have put forward a number of interesting proposals, including visits by ships, educational exchanges and military memorial events," the chief of the Russian General Staff said.