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Japan’s Navy plans to hold exercises with Russian fleet

September 15, 2014, 10:27 UTC+3 TOKYO TOKYO September, 15. /ITAR-TASS
Japan and Russia have held search and rescue exercises since 1998
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Japanese crew on board the Shirane Destroyer Ship (archive)

Japanese crew on board the Shirane Destroyer Ship (archive)

© EPA/RITCHIE B. TONGO

TOKYO, September 15. /ITAR-TASS/. The Japanese military command plans to resume contacts with the Russian Armed Forces suspended after Tokyo joined anti-Russian sanctions over Ukraine.

The Japanese Navy would like to hold search and rescue exercises with the Russian Pacific Fleet as planned in late September near Vladivostok, the Nikkei newspaper said on Monday.

Along with the joint manoeuvres, the Japanese Navy command plans to hold consultations with Russian colleagues to confirm the unchanged policy to continue bilateral ties in defense.

Japan and Russia have held search and rescue exercises since 1998. Last December, the 14th such exercises took place near the Japanese port of Maizuru. During the joint training, Japan’s missile destroyer Shirane, the missile boat Hayabusa and support vessels and the Russian large anti-submarine ship Admiral Vinogradov, a tanker and a tugboat conducted search and rescue operations, manoeuvred and examined a “suspicious” vessel.

Military and political ties between Moscow and Tokyo actively developed in recent time. Russian Defense and Foreign Ministers Sergei Shoigu and Sergei Lavrov met with their Japanese counterparts Itsunori Onodera and Fumio Kishida in the Japanese capital on November 2, 2013, to discuss defense cooperation. That time the sides declared they planned to enlarge the scope and forms of joint military exercises.

However, contacts have been suspended since March this year in connection with the situation in Ukraine and Tokyo’s joining anti-Russian sanctions.

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