Russia Sends a Strong Signal to Japan Amidst Rising Tensions

Written by Henrik Rothen

May.03 - 2024 1:50 PM CET

Photo: Alexandros Michailidis /
Photo: Alexandros Michailidis /
According to a report by Chinese media outlet NetEase, Japan’s increased military activities near Russia have not gone unnoticed, leading to a robust response from Moscow.

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Journalists from China have highlighted a concerning trend: Japan's defense exercises have ostensibly been aimed at North Korea, but there seems to be an underlying focus on Russia and China.

These maneuvers, particularly numerous over the past year, reportedly surpass those conducted by the United States in frequency, drawing a worried eye from Russia.

The Kuril Islands Dispute Continues to Stir Tensions

The Japanese Self-Defense Forces have been notably active in areas close to the contested Kuril Islands, a long-standing point of contention between Tokyo and Moscow.

The strategic importance of these exercises cannot be understated as they often simulate amphibious landings on island territories, directly challenging Russian claims in the region.

Putin's Reaction: Decisive and Immediate

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s response was swift and unambiguous.

Without much ado, Russia deployed naval ships to the Sea of Japan, where the Pacific Fleet conducted live-fire exercises in the Peter the Great Gulf.

These maneuvers included the launch of "Moskit" cruise missiles, hitting targets at distances over 90 kilometers, effectively in the direct view of Japan.

A Clear Message to Tokyo

The exercise was a stark reminder to Japan of its vulnerability in the face of Russian military capabilities.

"This time, the Russian Pacific Fleet’s live ammunition firing was to warn Japan of the consequences of its provocations. The missiles showed no mercy," reported the Chinese media.

The Russian strategy appears not just as a demonstration of military might but also as a direct communication to Japan, signaling that provocations at the border will be met with serious repercussions.

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