- Tokyo has “conveyed its concerns” to Moscow over cruise missile tests conducted by Russia in the East Sea, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said in a press conference Friday.
Moscow is urged to “refrain from any actions that could increase tensions in Northeast Asia” in light of this situation, Hayashi said, and reemphasized that Japan “strongly condemns” Russia’s aggression against Ukraine as it “shakes the foundations of the international order.”
Earlier that day, Japan’s Minister of Defense Nobuo Kishi said Moscow is “aiming to show off its strength in the Far East region” and the “modernization of its naval power.”
On Thursday, Russia’s Ministry of Defense said two submarines from its Pacific Fleet successfully test-fired Kalibr cruise missiles from an underwater position in the waters of the Sea of Japan, the ministry wrote in a post on its official Facebook page.
The cruise missiles successfully hit a mock enemy, the ministry said, and that more than 15 vessels from the fleet took part in the drill.
Russia’s test launches were held while the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is conducting bilateral operations with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force in the East Sea.
Some context: The two nations have been increasingly at odds since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia withdrew from peace treaty talks with Japan last month and froze joint economic projects related to the disputed Kuril Islands because of sanctions imposed by Tokyo over the invasion.
Correction: The description for the body of water located between Korea and Japan, which was described as the ‘Sea of Japan’ has been changed to a dual naming ‘East Sea’ as the Republic of Korea and Japan have not yet agreed on a common name.