UPDATED 7:57 PM PT – Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Japan has been protesting Russia’s military drills in a disputed region amid alleged talks to resolve that dispute. On Tuesday, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said Russia ramped up its military presence in the Kuril Islands, which Tokyo considered unacceptable.
Reports mentioned Russian forces would conduct exercises in the region until late August. Earlier this week, the Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin traveled to the Kuril Islands and proposed a plan to establish a free economic zone with Japan in that area.
“Just the other day we discussed with the President Vladimir Putin the set of measures that can be brought here to the Kuril Islands so that investment and economic activities can be more effective,” he explained. “This set of measures are unprecedented.”
Good morning! (Chyorny Stratovolcano, Chirpoy Island, Kuril Islands, Sakhalin Region, Russia) pic.twitter.com/Amu16uU1Pj
— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) July 26, 2021
Russian and Japanese ambassadors were recently summoned in Tokyo and Mosco respectively amid what appeared to be a flare up in mutual tensions. However, analysts suggested the two countries were close to resolving their differences.