Russia Protests Japan-U.S. HIMARS Drills


Tokyo, Oct. 13 (Jiji Press)--Russia's Foreign Ministry has protested recent Japan-U.S. joint drills in which the U.S. military's High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, was deployed in the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido.

The ministry said in a statement released Wednesday that it has made a decided protest to the Japanese Embassy in Russia against the drills held in the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force's Yausubetsu training area in Hokkaido.

According to the statement, the Russian side found it problematic that the drills took place close to Russia's borders. Moscow apparently reacted excessively to the drills held in a location that has Russian-controlled northwestern Pacific islands at the center of a long-standing territorial row between Tokyo and Moscow within the rocket system's range.

The ministry stressed that it regards the drills as a threat to the security of Russia's Far East, calling for the immediate suspension of such an act.

In a separate statement, ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned that Russia will take appropriate measures against the unfriendly move by the administration of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press