Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that Moscow had test-fired anti-ship missiles in the Sea of Japan, with two boats launching a missile attack on a mock enemy warship about 100 kilometers away.
The ministry said the target was successfully hit by two Moskit cruise missiles.
The Moskit, whose NATO reporting designation is SS-N-22 Sunburn, is a supersonic anti-ship cruise missile with conventional and nuclear warhead capability. The Soviet cruise missile is capable of flying at three times the speed of sound and has a range of 250 kilometers (155 miles).
The ministry said the exercises, which involved warships and other naval aircraft, took place in Peter the Great Bay in the Sea of Japan, but did not give more precise coordinates. The bay borders the Russian Pacific Fleet headquarters in Fukino and is about 700 kilometers (430 miles) from the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.
The Russian military has conducted regular exercises across the country and Russian warships have continued their maneuvers as the fighting in Ukraine enters its second year. – The exercises aimed at training the forces and highlighting the country’s military capabilities.
The US Navy’s Seventh Fleet did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Japan reacted calmly to the missile exercises, which were conducted near Vladivostok, and not directly in the waters between the two countries.
Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki told a news conference later Tuesday that Tokyo will continue to monitor Russia’s military operations, as it ramps up its activities in the region.
Tasuku Matsuki, the Japanese Foreign Ministry official in charge of Russia, said Tokyo does not plan to lodge a protest with Russia over the missile exercises, noting that its location — Peter the Great Bay — is considered to be the Russian coast, even though it faces the waters in between. the two countries.
“Overall, Japan is concerned about Russia’s increased military activities around the Japanese coasts and is watching them with great interest,” Matsuki said.
He added that Russia had conducted missile exercises in that area in the past and issued early naval warnings.
Russian nuclear-capable Tu-95 bombers flew over the Sea of Japan for several hours last week.
In September, Japan protested the multinational military exercises in the Russian-controlled Kuril Islands — which Japan claims to each other — and expressed concern about Russian and Chinese warships conducting shooting exercises in the Sea of Japan.
Russia has also tested submarine-launched missiles in the Sea of Japan last year.
Associated Press writer Mary Yamaguchi contributed from Tokyo.
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