This morning, the Russian Foreign Ministry submitted an official complaint to the Japanese government over its military exercises on the island of Hokkaido in Northern Japan. In the last two months, the Japanese Self Defense Forces have hosted thousands of American and Australian troops in Hokkaido. In October, exercise RESOLUTE DRAGON was held, with more than 3,300 U.S. Marines and 6,000 JSDF troops. On December 12th, a Command and Control Exercise was concluded throughout Japan with a large number of Australian and American planners also on Hokkaido. While these exercises did not name a specific threat, the Japanese government has a vested interest in enhancing security here due to recent overflights of North Korean ICBMs and Russian and Chinese naval activity near the Kuril Islands.
The statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry reads below:
“On December 18, the Embassy of Japan in Russia strongly protested against the holding of a regular military exercise on the island of Hokkaido in the immediate vicinity of the borders of the Russian Federation with the participation of the armed forces of the United States and Australia.
They pointed out to the Japanese side that we consider such provocative activities with the involvement of extra-regional states as a potential threat to the security of the Russian Federation.
They warned that the irresponsible policy of the F. Kishida administration is putting Tokyo on the path of escalating tensions in North-East Asia and the Asia-Pacific region as a whole. We will take adequate measures to further strengthen the defense capacity of our country.”