Tokyo, July 13 (Jiji Press)–A Japanese government report released Tuesday focuses on deepening military cooperation between China and Russia, noting that the countries have conducted joint long-range air patrols over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea for two years in a row.
The 2021 defense white paper refers to the patrols, which took place in July 2019 and December 2020, as “moves that can be seen as signs of deepening China-Russia relations.”
The paper describes the drills using a flight route map, noting that Chinese H-6 bombers and Russian TU-95 bombers met above the Takeshima Islands in Shimane Prefecture, western Japan, and flew over the Sea of Japan and East China Sea together.
The annual defense white paper also analyzes recent activities by the Russian military, pointing out that the military “has tended to deploy cutting-edge equipment also to the country’s Far East” in recent years.
It notes that Russian renovated frigates conducted cruise missile firing drills in the Sea of Japan this year.
The paper also mentions Russian media reports in December last year that the Russian military had deployed the S-300V4 surface-to-air missile system with a range of 400 kilometers on the islands of Etorofu and Kunashiri.
They are two of four northwestern Pacific islands held by Russia and claimed by Japan, which are collectively called the Northern Territories in Japan.
The dispute over the islands, which were seized from Japan by Soviet troops in the closing days of World War II, has prevented Japan and Russia from concluding a peace treaty to put a formal end to their wartime hostilities.