Russia Skipped Drill on Disputed Isles on Japan's Proposal


Moscow, Oct. 8 (Jiji Press)--Russia refrained from conducting its Vostok 2018 military drill on disputed northwestern Pacific islands last month in line with a Japanese proposal, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Monday.

Shoigu made the remark at a meeting in Moscow with Adm. Katsutoshi Kawano, chief of staff at the Japanese Self-Defense Forces' Joint Staff.

Days before the exercise began on Sept. 11, a top Russian military official said the drill would not be conducted on the islands claimed by Japan.

The islands just off Hokkaido, called the Northern Territories in Japan, were seized from the country by Soviet troops near the end of World War II.

Russia proposed that Japan participate in the exercise, which was one of the largest Russian military drills in the post-Cold War period, as an observer, but Japan did not take part, according to Shoigu.

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Jiji Press