Japan has grown increasingly wary of Russian provocations directed against it, Japan’s ex-defense minister told an audience at a Washington, D.C.-based think tank Wednesday.
Since Japan’s support of sanctions against Russia last year following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, Itsunori Onodera, who served as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s defense minister until late last year, said Tokyo had noted what he termed a dramatic change in Russian behavior. Russian ships were detected close to Japanese waters with increasing frequency, while Japanese jets had scrambled against Russian aircraft amid a notable rise in flights, exercises, and training near Japan.
“We are doing it against Russia more than any other country,” Onodera said following an address at the Henry L. Stimson Center.
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