Japan, Russia To Conduct Joint Sea Drill

Japan, Russia to conduct joint sea drill

A Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer has made a port call in Vladivostok for joint drills with the Russian Navy.

The exercise has been held since 1998. Japan and Russia take turns as host.

The MSDF's Suzunami docked at a wharf for Russia's Pacific Fleet in the country's Far East. Captain Hitoshi Shimizu was welcomed by women in traditional dress.

On Saturday, Suzunami will take part in a search-and-rescue drill alongside a Russian destroyer.

MSDF and Russian Navy crew will also take part in sporting events and cultural exchange programs.

Shimizu said he was looking forward to deepening the MSDF's friendship with the Russian Navy. He said bilateral ties are crucial, and the two sides should continue to engage in drills together.

On the security front, the Japanese government hopes to foster mutual trust with Russia so they can work toward the conclusion of a bilateral peace treaty that includes a resolution to the Northern Territories issue.

Russia controls the islands. Japan claims them. The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan's territory.