The Japanese Defense Ministry recently reported that it has tracked four large Russian ships transporting troops through a strait north of the island and that it was heading west.
Officials surmised that the ships may have laid out a course heading to Europe based on the trajectory.
On Tuesday, two ships passed through at around 8 pm and then they spotted another two ships at about 7 am on Wednesday.
Japan‘s Defense Ministry published photos that illustrate a vessel identified as a ship that is normally used to land expeditionary forces for amphibious assaults. Another ship had military trucks sitting on the deck, according to The Mainichi.
A Defense Ministry spokesperson said “it is possible” that the four ships could be sailing to Ukraine. The vessels traveled from the Pacific Ocean to the Sea of Japan through the Tsuruga Strait.
The spokesperson said it’s not normal for Russian ships to pass through the strait so close to Japanese territory.
The Japanese government renewed its claim over the Kuril Islands that Japan and Russia have been arguing over.
Russia seized those islands 3 days after Japan surrendered to the Allies in WWII. Talk about kicking someone when they’re down.
The islands are formerly part of Hokkaido Prefecture. Japan has worked hard in the decades since then to get them back. Japanese officials recently said that it believes the islands remain “primordially Japanese” and characterized Russia’s ownership as “occupation against international order.”
This is probably why Putin had no problem sending his military ships past Japan on their way to Ukraine without notifying anyone.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has already killed thousands and destroyed hundreds of buildings over the past 3 weeks.
Russia targeted hospitals, residential buildings, and movie theaters, and Moscow has the gall to deny it! If Russia is the only country invading Ukraine, then who else would be targeting civilians?
Ukrainian officials have accused Russia of committing war crimes and President Zelenskyy continues to ask for a no-fly zone over Ukraine. If there was a no-fly zone declared, that means the US would be shooting down Russian planes that fly over the no-fly zone. That would be the US entering the war. So Putin knows we’re not going to do that.
Japan has enacted heavy sanctions against Russia in reaction to its invasion of Ukraine. They joined US and European allies to remove Russian banks from the international SWIFT financial system in late February.
Japan also froze assets belonging to President Vladimir Putin and other top Russian officials while sending $100 million in emergency humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a unilateral attempt to change the status quo and the act shakes the foundation of the international order. It’s an outright violation to international law and we strongly denounce the act,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida previously said. “Japan stands by the Ukrainian people who are fighting hard to defend their sovereignty and territory, their homeland and families.”