VLADIVOSTOK, October 28. /TASS/. Following a pause in the wake of Japan's decision to join Western sanctions against Russia earlier this year, the Japanese naval command has resumed contacts with the Russian Armed Forces.
Tuesday morning, ships of the Russian Pacific Fleet and the destroyer of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force, the Hamagiri, headed for the Bay of Peter the Great near Vladivostok.
The scenario of the exercise suggests that the crews will have to eliminate fire on a distressed ship, to rescue people from inflatable rafts and to simulate combined actions of rescue groups, Captain First Rank Roman Martov, the Pacific Fleet's official spokesman told TASS.
"Taking part in the Russian side is the big antisubmarine ship Admiral Panteleyev, the Sayany rescue seacraft, the MB-105 towboat, and a Kamov-27PS helicopter," he said. "The Japanese Naval Self-Defence force has committed the Hamagiri destroyer that arrived in Vladivostok on Saturday."
Prior to the start of the mission, participants in the joint exercise held a coordination conferences and an anti-piracy drill.
Japanese media say officials of the Japanese naval forces plan holding consultations with the Pacific Fleet in order to confirm the continuity of the course at bilateral ties in the sphere of defence.
The two countries' naval units started joint maritime rescue exercises in 1998. The previous one was held last December in the area of the Japanese port of Maizuru. Joint maneuvering combined with a search and rescue operation was trained then and the crews also simulated inspection of a suspicious non-naval ship.