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Russia Holds Military Drills Off Japan’s Mainland During Tokyo Olympics

July 27, 2021, 9:00 am
Russia Holds Military Drills Off Japan’s Mainland During Tokyo Olympics
TOKYO—Russia’s military doesn’t stand down for the Olympics. On Tuesday, Moscow was set to begin military exercises on an island near Japan that it seized in 1945 and Tokyo still claims. A day earlier, Russia’s prime minister visited islands in the same disputed group. “We can’t accept Russia’s moves to strengthen its military in the Northern Territories,” government spokesman Katsunobu Kato said, using Japan’s name for the islands. The uptick in tension over a long-running territorial dispute comes as Russia’s athletes compete in the Tokyo Olympics under the name Russian Olympic Committee, part of the punishment for a state-sponsored doping program. The Russian athletes aren’t allowed to use the national flag or anthem. Russian media had been critical about the Olympics because of the restrictions, but the country’s athletes have had some high-profile successes, including winning the men’s team gymnastics gold medal.
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