5 Russian Navy Ships Spotted in Waters Off Eastern Hokkaido
Tokyo, June 10 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese Defense Ministry's Joint Staff said Friday that it has confirmed five Russian naval vessels operating in waters off the eastern part of Hokkaido, northernmost Japan.
On Thursday, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force escort ship Yudachi spotted the Russian vessels, including a destroyer, engaging in what appeared to be drills on fleet manoeuvers and other tactics in waters some 170 kilometers southeast of Hokkaido's Nemuro Peninsula.
The sighting of the destroyer and four other Russian warships is likely linked to large-scale military exercises conducted by Russia in the Pacific.
"As it is possible that (Russia) might also conduct military exercises near the Sanriku coast (in northeastern Japan), we need to monitor the situation closely," Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said.
Russia's Defense Ministry announced that it will conduct the large-scale military exercises in the Pacific from June 3, with around 40 Pacific Fleet vessels and others taking part.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]