Military drills in Japan complicate negotiations with Moscow - Politics | PoFo

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The annual series of Kin Edge and Kin Sword drills alternate with each other every year. For example, in January 2016, the US and Japanese troops joined together for the Kin-Edge bilateral command exercises, which focused on bilateral coordination, protection of forces, support for the host country, missile defense and evacuation operations in Japan. The last drills were attended by 600 people from the headquarters of the US armed forces in Japan, the 5th Air Force, the US Navy in Japan; US Army in Japan; and sea forces of Japan. According to Japan, the real goal of these trainings has always been to facilitate and improve the interaction between the US forces and the Japan Self-Defense Forces.
On January 13, 2019, units of the 1st Parachute Brigade of the Japan Self-Defense Ground Forces, together with US forces, conducted drills at the Narashino training ground located near Tokyo. The conditions of the exercises imitated a military operation on a separate island in the East China Sea, captured by a conditional enemy. Japanese and American troops jointly practiced the landing of a parachute assault on the island. During the exercises, the Japanese-American forces successfully repulsed a temporarily seized conditional island from an alleged enemy.
It should be noted that there are several disputed islands claimed by Japan and China in the East China Sea region. Japan is supported in these disputes by the United States, which has a high degree of control over Japanese foreign policy. In addition, Japan actively claims the Russian islands from the Kuril Ridge, thereby challenging the outcome of the Second World War. According to the commander of the US troops in Japan, Lieutenant-General Jerry Martinez, the United States will neither reduce the military presence in Japan nor stop military exercises in this country.
However, according to Russian Defense department, in the case of a threat of the annexation of the Kuril Islands by the American-Japanese alliance, Russia will be ready to take tough measures to protect the sovereignty of its territories. In addition, speaking of the issue of the handover of the Kuril Islands to Japan, Moscow is undoubtedly not going to cede its territory to anyone and will firmly defend its rights, which are also approved in many international acts and treaties.
In January 2019, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, after negotiations with his counterpart from Japan, Taro Kono, stressed that the process of negotiating a peace treaty is difficult, since these islands are designated as belonging to Japan in Japanese law. According to Lavrov, Japan must recognize the results of the Second World War, including Russia's sovereignty over all the islands of the South Kurile Ridge, to continue the negotiations.
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