Russia, Japan launch joint naval drills in Gulf of Aden
Naval exercises involving combat ships of the Russian Navy and the Navy of Japan begun on November 10 in the Gulf of Aden, Russian Navy's Northern Fleet spokesman Capt. 1st Rank Vadim Serga said, Sputnik reported.
"Today, the Russian-Japanese anti-piracy naval exercises have begun in the Gulf of Aden," Serga said.
The exercises are aimed at increasing cooperation between the Russian and Japanese warships in the fight against piracy and terrorism, he added.
Russia's Severomorsk ship and the Japanese destroyer Ikazuchi are participating in the drills.
The Russian-Japanese relations have long been hampered by the fact that the two nations never signed a permanent peace treaty after the end of World War II.
The deal was never reached because of a disagreement over a group of four islands — Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai — that are claimed by both countries. They are collectively referred to as the Southern Kurils by Russia and the Northern Territories by Japan.
Since Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Japan in December 2016, the relations between the two nations have been improving, with the two sides agreeing to develop joint projects on the disputed islands.