Russia Begins Military Exercise in Northern Territories
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Moscow, Sept. 29 (Jiji Press)--Russia's Eastern Military District said Tuesday it has begun a military exercise involving more than 1,500 personnel on the Kuril Islands, including northwestern Pacific islands at the center of a territorial dispute with Japan.
The move seems to be an attempt to hold Tokyo in check ahead of the day's phone talks between Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The drill is expected to be carried out mainly on the islands of Kunashiri and Etorofu, where major Russian military facilities are located.
They are two of four islands held by Russia and claimed by Japan, which are collectively called the Northern Territories in Japan.
The dispute over the islands, which were seized from Japan by Soviet troops in the closing days of World War II, has prevented Japan and Russia from concluding a peace treaty to put a formal end to their wartime hostilities.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]