Russia and Japan

May 25, 2023 | 6:41pm
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Russia and Japan
May 25, 2023

Japan's Joint Staff say it scrambled fighter jets Thursday after Russian "intelligence-gathering" aircraft were detected off its coasts along the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Japan.

One Russian aircraft travelled from Japan's north down along part of its west coast, while the other took a similar route along the opposite coast and returned the same way, the Joint Staff say in a brief statement.

"In response, fighters of the Air Self-Defense Force's Northern Air Force and other units were scrambled," it adds. — AFP 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says there was work to be done before Moscow and Tokyo can resolve a World War II-era dispute over a chain of islands. 

Heading into talks in Moscow with Japanese counterpart Taro Kono, Lavrov says previous discussions on the islands had allowed both sides to lay out their arguments. 

"I hope these negotiations and consultations have allowed us to better understand the differences in our positions, though these differences are still very significant," Russian news agencies quote Lavrov as saying.

The territorial dispute centres on four islands, between the Sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean, seized by the Soviet army in the last days of World War II. — AFP

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