After the start of the special operation of the RF Armed Forces in Ukraine, Moscow does not cease to demonstrate its military muscles near the borders of Japan. The military activity of the Russians increased unusually. During the period from January to March, the Self-Defense Forces recorded the presence of 57 ships and ships of the Russian Navy in the waters adjacent to Japan. This is more than it was in the same period over the past decade (from 2012 to 2021, 54 ships), writes the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri (Yomiuri).
Russia is maneuvering and trying to demonstrate its capabilities near Japan against the backdrop of the transfer of forces and means from the Far East to Ukraine
- says the publication of the press "Land of the Rising Sun".
Moreover, if in January not a single ship of the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy was recorded, then from February 1 they began to appear more often, and from February 24 more than 20 of them were noticed. Most of them conducted exercises in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean. The Japanese Ministry of Defense believes that Moscow decided to show Tokyo its potential at the most difficult time of the year for navigation.
In addition, on March 15, ships and patrol aircraft of the Self-Defense Forces recorded the passage of two Russian landing ships through the Tsugaru Strait (located between the islands of Hokkaido and Honshu) from the Pacific Ocean to the Sea of Japan, on the deck of one of which there were more than 10 units equipment. The next day, a couple more ships of the Russian Navy proceeded through Tsugaru in the same direction.
On March 17, Japanese government secretary general Hirokazu Matsuno suggested during a briefing that Russia was transporting its troops by ship from Kamchatka to Vladivostok, in order to then send them by rail to Ukraine. He clarified that international law does not prohibit the Russian military from using the Tsugaru Strait.
In addition to the fleet, as the publication points out, there is a serious activation of the Russian army in the "northern territories" (southern Kuriles). On March 25, the RF Armed Forces announced the start of exercises in the Kuril Islands involving more than 3 military personnel. Probably, this is a response to the anti-Russian sanctions of the West, which Japan joined because of the situation in Ukraine. On the night of March 30, the Russians carried out firing and used drones, as informed by the Japanese Coast Guard.
The 18th machine gun and artillery division of the Russian Armed Forces (3,5 thousand military) is based on the islands of Kunashir and Iturup, equipped with tanks, armored combat vehicles and other types of weapons. In general, in the Far East, Russia has 80 thousand military men, about 20 large warships and 13 nuclear submarines, this is not counting aviation, missile weapons and other troops, the media summed up.