Japan Criticises Russia War Games In Disputed Islands And Debates Nuclear Defence Initiative

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Japan Criticises Russia War Games In Disputed Islands And Debates Nuclear Defence Initiative

The Japanese government has strongly criticised Russia conducting military drills on the disputed islands of Kunashiri, Etorofu, Shikotan and the Habomai group of islets, during a time of heightened global tensions.


The islands, which Japan claim as their own, have been controlled by Russia (then part of the Soviet Union) since Japan surrendered at the end of the Second World War. The dispute over the islands has been a point of contention for over 70 years and the decision for Russia to carry out major military exercises while it is in the midst of its brutal invasion of Ukraine has set alarm bells ringing in Tokyo.


The exercise involved 3,500 soldiers and advanced military equipment such as attack helicopters, fighter jets, tanks and marine landing seacraft.


Responding to the exercise, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary, Hirokazu Matsuno, said:


"Russia's military expansion in the Northern Territories is unacceptable as it goes against our country's position regarding those islands."


While Japan's Defence Minister, Nobuo Kishi, added:


"It is concerning that the Russian military is stepping up operations around Japan while Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues."


Japanese naval ships have been identified by Japan moving close to their maritime territory over recent weeks, with some observers suggesting that they are travelling across the world to join the invasion of Ukraine.


Japanese-Russian tensions have been near all-time highs following the invasion of Ukraine and Japan, along with Western allies, have imposed huge economic and military sanctions upon Russia, leading Russia to add Japan to its list of so-called 'unfriendly nations'.


Japan also has long-term tensions with China, which while not a direct ally of Russia, is seen as being a friendly partner and has refused to criticise Russian aggression in Eastern Europe. Japan is also in close proximity to the pariah state of North Korea. This means Japan now has deeply uncomfortable relations with 3 nearby authoritarian nuclear armed states.


This has led some in Japan, including a former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and the current ruling Liberal Democratic Party, to begin discussions on a nuclear sharing deal, which could see Japan host or even build their own nuclear arsenal. Japan has outlawed nuclear weapons and any use of aggressive military force since the end of the Second World War, in which they were struck with 2 nuclear weapons by the United States.


[Based on reporting by: IB Times]


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Thinking Humanity: Japan Criticises Russia War Games In Disputed Islands And Debates Nuclear Defence Initiative
Japan Criticises Russia War Games In Disputed Islands And Debates Nuclear Defence Initiative
The Japanese government has strongly criticised Russia conducting military drills on the disputed islands of Kunashiri, Etorofu, Shikotan and the Habo
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