Moscow, Oct 9: Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has said that military drills, including the strategic Vostok-2018 maneuvers, are focused just to defend its territory.
At a meeting with Chief of the Joint Staff of the Japanese Self-Defence Forces Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano on Monday, Shoigu said Russia heard the Japanese side’s proposals and did not involve the territory of the Kuril Islands in the Vostok-2018 drills, TASS reported.
"We invited your observers and your attaches to the Vostok-2018 drills. Unfortunately, we did not see your presence and your participation in these maneuvers. We hope that further on we will be able to show the entire peaceful tone of our drills aimed solely at defending the frontiers of our country," Shoigu said.
Under the guidance of the leaders of both countries, cross years of Russia and Japan were officially opened in May this year in Moscow, the Russian defence chief said, a new meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was held in September on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.
Remembering the previous visit by the chief of the Joint Staff of the Japanese Self-Defence Forces, the Russian defence minister said "Six years have passed since the previous visit. This is a very long term. We pin big hopes on the upcoming talks."
The last visit by the chief of the Joint Staff of the Japanese Self-Defence Forces was held on June 26-28, 2012. (UNI)