Japan monitors Russian, Chinese military activities in Sea of ​​Japan, says defense minister

Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Arthur Renteria, from Carson, Calif., stands on the starboard lifeline watch on the quarterdeck aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) as a Maritime Self-Defense Force of Japan (JMSDF) Murasame-class destroyer JS Inazuma (DD 105) sails in formation during a U.S.-Japan bilateral exercise in the Sea of ​​Japan April 12, 2022. US Navy Photo

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Japan is monitoring increased Russian and Chinese military activity around its country, Japan’s defense minister said on Friday.

Japan’s Defense Ministry and Japan Self-Defense Force will handle all actions against Japanese territory, territorial waters and airspace in accordance with international law and JSDF law, Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said. .

Kishi spoke at the post-Cabinet press conference regularly held at Japan’s Defense Ministry, where he said Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force rushed into foreign aircraft 1,004 times in 2021, a record since 2016, when she performed 1,168 jams.

Of last year’s figures, 722 were for Chinese planes, while 266 were for Russian planes. Kishi did not reveal which other countries made up the balance, but said the number of stampedes against Chinese planes was up 260 from 2020 figures, while stampedes against Russia were about the same. with 258 in 2020.

China’s growing number of activities, coupled with a lack of transparency regarding its defense policy and military, have become a major security concern for the region, including Japan and the international community, Kishi said.

Kishi told media that he would not make a definitive statement on Russia’s intentions to launch 3M14K (SS-N-30A) caliber cruise missiles from submarines in the Sea of ​​Japan, but said noted that the two submarines carrying out the launch were believed to have been operating in the Far East since November last year. He said the launches were an “intention to show the modernization of naval power domestically and internationally, even in the current situation”.

“In any case, in recent years Russian military activities, including deployment of the latest equipment and exercises/training, have tended to become more active around Japan,” Kishi added.

On Thursday, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the launch of cruise missiles from RFS submarines Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (B-274) and RFS Volkhov (B-603) in the Sea of ​​Japan and said the missiles had successfully hit their target, a fake surface ship, although he did not reveal the location of the target. Fifteen warships and support ships, as well as planes from the Russian Pacific Fleet, took part in the exercise, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

Volkhov had previously fired a 3M14K (SS-N-30A) caliber cruise missile from the Sea of ​​Japan against a coastal target 1,000 kilometers away in January. Both Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Volkhov, with the corvette RFS Gremyashchiy (337), joined the Russian Pacific Fleet in November 2021, after being assigned to the Russian Baltic Fleet.

When asked if North Korea would carry out additional ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests, Kishi said that Pyongyang has been launching ballistic missiles frequently since the beginning of this year, and that since North Korea has turned its back on the international community, it may go further. provocative actions in the future. But Japan’s Defense Ministry will continue to work closely with the United States and other countries regarding North Korea’s military activities, he added.

The United States currently has the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group operating in the Sea of ​​Japan as a deterrent against North Korea. The strike group conducted bilateral training with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the JASDF on Tuesday.

USS cruiser Mobile bay (CG-53) and destroyer USS Spruce (DDG-111), from the Lincoln CSG, conducted additional exercises Wednesday and Thursday with the destroyer JMSDF JS Kongō (DDG-173). The training included sharing ballistic missile information, according to a JMSDF Friday press release and social media post.

China is monitoring the activities of the Lincoln CSG in the Sea of ​​Japan with its Dongdiao-class surveillance vessel number 794. The surveillance vessel was seen moving southwest, about 160 kilometers north-northeast of Tsushima, as of 8 a.m. Wednesday, according to a JSDF. and the Joint Staff Office press release issued on Friday.

After that, the ship sailed south through the Tsushima Strait towards the East China Sea. The ship was the same one that would have traveled north through the Tsushima Strait on Monday, the JSO said, adding that the Japanese destroyer JS Inazuma (DD-105) and P-1 maritime patrol aircraft from Naval Air Station Atsugi had been monitoring the Chinese vessel. Inazuma took part in the exercise with the Lincoln CSG on Tuesday.