Russia says begins military exercises in Pacific islands also claimed by Japan

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 15:10

Moscow: Russia began military exercises in the Kurile Islands in the Pacific Ocean, a Defence Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday, a move likely to anger Japan, which also lays claim to them.

Moscow: Russia began military exercises in the Kurile Islands in the Pacific Ocean, a Defence Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday, a move likely to anger Japan, which also lays claim to them.

"Exercises began involving military units in the region, which are deploying to the Kurile Islands," Colonel Alexander Gordeyev, a spokesman for Russia`s Eastern Military District, told the Russian news agency Interfax.

He said more than 1,000 troops, five Mi-8AMTSh attack helicopters and 100 other pieces of military hardware would be involved in the manoeuvres.

The dispute has strained relations Japan and Russia since World War Two, when Soviet forces occupied the four islands at the southern end of the Kurile chain.
Japan says the islands are part of its territory and wants Moscow to hand them over.

Reuters

First Published: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 15:10

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