TOKYO, February 7. /TASS/. The Japanese government has issued a protest to Russia over a forthcoming shooting practice in the southern part of the Kuril Islands, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a press conference on Monday.
"Russia has issued a warning that it will carry out firing practice from February 8 in the area southeast of the Kunashir Island," the head of the Cabinet noted. "We protested to Russia through diplomatic channels," Matsuno stated.
"We view the increase of Russia’s military presence on the four Northern Territories (which Japan refers to as the southern part of the Kurils) as unacceptable," the Chief Cabinet Secretary said, stressing that "this contradicts the government’s position."
The Japanese Coast Guard also warned about a navigational hazard in this area.
Earlier, the Sankei Shimbun newspaper said that Tokyo had received a notice from Moscow relating to an upcoming missile exercise in a vast area near Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido, which included the Kurils and the La Perouse Strait.
As reported, shooting exercises will be carried out on and off during February.